John Sowinski Named to Inaugural Florida 500 List by Florida Trend

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Florida Trend’s inaugural Florida 500 special section recognizes the 500 most influential business leaders in the state in various economic sectors. Consensus Co-Founder John Sowinski joins the ranks of the state’s top executives with recognition in the professional services category.

In the special section, Sowinski offers perspective on his work throughout the state:

“I get to fight for some of the things I’m passionate about. I get to have a direct impact on public-policy decisions, like holding the line on gambling, legislative term limits, keeping smoking out of indoor workplaces, protecting sea life and stopping unfair taxes and regulations. I get to have a hand in issues that shape Florida’s future without having to make many of the sacrifices that elected officials must.”

For more on The Florida 500 and to see the other honorees, visit

Founders John Sowinski and Tre’ Evers Once Again Named to INFLUENCE 100

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“As a tireless advocate and positive influencer, Consensus Communications is working for a better Florida; and leading the way are John Sowinski and Tre’ Evers, faithful stewards of the resources and wishes of those they serve.”

— Jacob Stuart, Former President of Central Florida Partnership

Thought Leaders. Counselors. Advocates. The second edition of’s INFLUENCE 100 is a who’s who list in Florida politics. And Consensus co-founders John Sowinski and Tre’ Evers once again join the ranks of the top political movers and shakers in the state – professionals who have been, and still are, key to Florida’s political landscape.

But the real treat for the duo was reading the generous and humbling words of community icon Jacob Stuart, who authored their profile for the magazine. Anyone who has lived in Central Florida knows the role Stuart has played in shaping our community, helping to mold and unify what he affectionately calls our “family of communities.” While a great honor to be recognized among the INFLUENCE 100, it was an even greater one to see Jacob’s name as author of their profile.

For this year’s issue, click here.

For more on the INFLUENCE 100 from creator Peter Schorsch, click here.

Christina Morton, APR, Named Chair of Statewide PR Board

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Consensus Communications, a Downtown Orlando-based full-service public relations firm, today announced Christina Morton, APR, has been named chair of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Sunshine District Board of Directors.

The Sunshine District represents more than 1,000 public relations professionals from seven chapters throughout Florida. The district is one of 10 nationwide and provides educational resources, scholarships, and professional development opportunities for the industry’s leading professionals.

Christina has served on the statewide PRSA Sunshine District board for three years and previously served as president of the local PRSA Orlando board in 2015.

Sowinski on UCF Championship

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Jan. 4, 2018, Orlando Sentinel Opinion Editorial By John Sowinski:

“As we savor UCF championship, vow to end

rigged path to playoffs”

From time to time, we like to bring you news and views from our team on what’s happening across the state. As many of you may know, Consensus Co-Founder John Sowinski is a former study body president for the University of Central Florida. In the Jan. 4 issue of the Orlando Sentinel, he offered perspective on UCF’s recent [national] championship and the rigged College Football Playoff system.

Here’s an excerpt of what he had to say:
“UCF’s historic football season has brought back memories of my time as a student at UCF. It was 1984. UCF had 15,000 students — mostly commuters. The campus was in the middle of nowhere, at the corner of a couple of two-lane roads — University Boulevard and Alafaya Trail. Six years earlier, our reclusive-yet-visionary university president, Trevor Colbourn, rebranded the school from Florida Technological University to the University of Central Florida and started a football program to help put the fledgling university on the map. The Division 2 football program had racked up an enormous debt, and its future was uncertain. Colbourn was committed to its survival and success, and risked his job to save the program.

As student body president, I had regular meetings with Colbourn. No matter what was on our agenda, he would often bring up a pending U.S. Supreme Court case, NCAA vs. Regents of the University of Oklahoma and The University of Georgia Athletic Association…” [Read More]

– John Sowinski, UCF Alum (’86) and Co-Founder, Consensus Communications

John Sowinski: On Charlie Reed, a legacy ‘beyond measure’

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The following is an excerpt from a guest column on by Consensus Co-Founder John Sowinski.

Editor’s note: Former Florida State University System Chancellor Charles Reed died Tuesday at 75.

Charlie Reed was a hard charger, a master legislative strategist, a fantastically successful leader in higher education, a consummate professional, and a class act.

Reed became Chancellor of Florida’s State University System at about the same time that I became Executive Director of the Florida Student Association, the lobbying group that represents the students of Florida’s State University System.

He left his job as Governor Bob Graham’s chief of staff to become Chancellor. It was 1985, and everyone in Florida’s higher education policy realm had had a healthy dose of respect for and fear of Reed. He wanted to raise tuition 15 percent per year. Students wanted tuition increases capped at no more than 5 percent per year.

Part of my job was to testify immediately after him at every Board of Regents and Legislative Committee meeting that dealt with the tuition issue and provide the counterpoints to his points. The undergraduate tuition increase landed close to 5 percent, but no permanent cap was created.

After the Session, I was summoned to the Board of Regents office for a one-on-one meeting with Chancellor Reed. I had no idea why he wanted to meet with me, much less alone. I thought he was going to take me to the woodshed, because he was a tough guy.

In fact, during that Session, I saw him use a legislator’s aide’s phone (no cellphones back then) to dress down a high-level university administrator for not towing the State University System position on a particular bill. My interactions with Chancellor Reed during the legislative session and at Board of Regents meetings were made awkward by the fact that we were diametrically opposed on the high-stakes tuition issue, and though we had spoken many times, we had never had a “casual” conversation.

I nervously went into his office. We shook hands, and I sat down…

To read the guest column in its entirety, visit

Client News: Six Finalists for Central Florida’s New Pro Baseball Team Name Revealed

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Central Florida residents have one more chance to play a role in naming the area’s new Minor League Baseball team. Want in? The top six finalists for the “Name the Team” contest were unveiled today, and the organization is asking fans to vote for their favorite.

The Florida State League team will have a new name as it moves into its new home at Osceola County Stadium in 2017. Osceola County last had a Class A team in 2000 with the Kissimmee Cobras of the Florida State League.

Team President Joe Harrington commented, “We are humbled by the response from the Central Florida community. We’ve heard local businesses and organizations were encouraging employees, members, friends and family to submit their thoughts on what our new name should be, and we couldn’t be more pleased. In true Minor League Baseball fashion, the top six finalists reflect not only the creativity of our fans but also the diverse community in which our team will live, work and play.”

Fans are encouraged to vote for their favorite name from the group of finalists at Votes can be cast once per day through 11:59 p.m. EST Aug. 18, with the winning name being unveiled in late August.

In alphabetical order, the top six finalists for the “Name the Team” contest are:

  • Florida Dragonflies: Known for their resilience and fighting spirit, a name among the likes of these prehistoric Florida insects falls in line with other wacky names in Minor League Baseball.
  • Florida Fire Frogs: Going head-to-head with our “coqui” is not for the faint of heart. These fiery frogs are sure to bring the Florida heat to the opposition and will leave fans hopping for more.
  • Florida Mud Kickers: In a nod to Osceola’s strong heritage, the Florida Mud Kickers will help preserve two great American traditions – baseball and rodeo. Saddle up, and let’s play ball!
  • Florida Rodeo Clowns: The Rodeo Clowns commemorate the world famous Silver Spurs Rodeo. So grab your hat and boots and join the team for an experience more fun than a barrel of Rodeo Clowns.
  • Florida Sorcerers: The Florida Sorcerers speak to the region’s strong entertainment industry. Fans can expect an enchanted ballpark where the mystical forces of good and evil come to life.
  • Florida Toucans: The Florida Toucans celebrate the area’s tropical climate that the world “flocks” to (more than 66 million visitors a year in fact!). Imagine steel drum bands, tropical shirts, and an umbrella in your favorite ballpark drink.

“These six names are representative of community suggestions submitted earlier in July,” said Harrington. “Many factors go into the decision to select a team name, but the main considerations are local significance, trademark ability, family appeal and community input.”


Co-Founder John Sowinski Appointed to UCF Collective Impact Strategic Planning Commission

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Consensus Communications Co-Founder John Sowinski has been appointed to the University of Central Florida Strategic Planning Commission Distinctive Impact Dimension.

The Commission is exploring UCF’s role in the community through three dimensions – Philosophy, Value and Distinctive Impact. A UCF alum and former student body president, John will join university stakeholders and community leaders on the Distinctive Impact Dimension, helping evaluate areas of excellence and impact that distinguish UCF from other institutions.

Started in the fall of 2015, the planning process involves not only internal stakeholders but also members from the community and concludes in spring 2016. Ultimately, the commission will deliver a road map that will help develop a long-term vision and a five-year action plan.

A founding partner of Consensus, John is a veteran of numerous statewide political, issue and corporate campaigns and has more than 20 years experience in public policy, media relations, message development, and paid media management.

John was recently named a top mover and shaker in Florida politics in the inaugural Influence 100 list by Peter Schorsch of

New café concept coming to Winter Park in 2016

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Ready to get your bowl on, Orlando? We’re excited to announce that our client Create Your Nature, a new quick-service café concept, is headed to Winter Park in spring 2016, offering a menu that boasts healthier menu options and centers around acai bowls and oatmeal blends as well as salads.


The approximately 1,300-square-foot café will be located at 1284 N. Orange Ave. in one of Winter Park’s oldest garage buildings – State Auto Body. The building is being renovated into an innovative retail complex featuring a variety of local businesses, including a distillery, coffee house and salon.

Husband-wife team Dan and Kim Dill will own and operate the new café. Both working professionals, passionate about a healthy lifestyle and parents of two young girls, the Dills are not your typical café owners. Dan is a successful trial lawyer and owns The Dill Law Group. Kim recently left her job as an insurance defense attorney at Carman, Beauchamp, Sang & Gonzales to focus on the family’s new restaurant venture.

After falling in love with the acai bowl concept while away celebrating their anniversary, Dan and Kim quickly learned acai boasts several health benefits and began experimenting with recipes to provide both savory and sweet options for their friends and family.

As Kim puts it, “we saw the potential in Orlando to provide a quick, healthy alternative to your average breakfast or lunch spot, and as they say, the rest is history. We both live healthy lifestyles and also want to enjoy what we’re doing while serving others. It’s a natural fit for us and our family.”

The café features more than just acai bowls, with other featured items including oatmeal bowls and salads, and as the namesake implies, guests have the option to create their own of any of these offerings. Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the quick-service café caters to everyone – business professionals on the go, busy moms, those with active lifestyles and more.

The Dills are excited to have the opportunity to provide their friends and the greater Orlando community with a product that fits their active lifestyle.

The café will also feature a natural, casual interior design with a neighborhood feel. Anna Schmidt Interior Design, a familiar name to the Central Florida area, has teamed up with the Dills to oversee the build out of the new café space, which will offer an inviting and comfortable atmosphere. Schmidt has worked with some of the most well known restaurant brands in the country as well as some local favorites, including East End Market, Cask & Larder and Cocina 214.

About Create Your Nature

Winter Park, Fla.-based Create Your Nature is the brainchild of husband-wife team Dan and Kim Dill and is Central Florida’s first acai café and oatmeal bar. Opening in spring 2016, this new café concept features fresh takes and tasty bites, such as acai bowls and oatmeal blends as signature dishes, salads, and sweet and savory indulgences. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. #getyourbowlon


Christina Morton, APR, Elected to Statewide PR Board

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Consensus Communications, a Downtown Orlando-based full service public relations firm, today announced Christina Morton, APR, has been elected to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Sunshine District board. She will serve as treasurer.

The Sunshine District represents more than 1,000 public relations professionals from seven chapters throughout Florida. The district is one of 10 nationwide and provides educational resources, scholarships, and professional development opportunities for the industry’s leading professionals.

Christina has served on the local PRSA Orlando board for seven years, most recently as president. This is her first officer-level position with the district board.

An accredited and awarding-winning public relations professional, Christina’s emphasis is in media relations, social media and community relations.