The Honorable Glenda E. Hood is Founding Partner of Hood Partners LLC, a civic innovation firm based on the belief that 21st Century solutions require a new model of decision-making. Hood Partners LLC helps business, government and civic leaders look at community issues through a multi-sector, multi jurisdictional prism to develop a consensus on plans of action that will really work to change the direction of an organization or community.
Glenda’s career as a distinguished public citizen and servant, both nationally and within the State of Florida, exemplifies the principles of civic leadership for which she has long been an ardent champion. Prior to founding the firm, Glenda served as Florida’s Secretary of State, where she was instrumental in crafting the State’s Strategic Plan for Economic Development; commissioning economic impact studies to assess Florida’s programs in the arts, historic preservation and libraries; and developing the state’s 10-year cultural strategic plan. Secretary Hood was widely credited for overseeing the seamless 2004 election cycle as well as for assisting counties in election preparation during hurricane recovery efforts.
Before her role as Secretary, Glenda served three terms as the first woman (and youngest ever) elected Mayor of the City of Orlando, where she helped transform the city from a mere tourist locale into a vital economic nexus and a model of livability. She was elected Mayor and CEO after having served three terms as a City Council member. Early in her career, Glenda founded and was President of her own public relations firm.
Referred to as a “tireless visionary” with “marketing savvy,” “tenacity and experience” by theOrlando Sentinel, Mayor Hood is known as a “hands-on” leader and dedicated advocate of growth management strategies and smart growth principles. Under her leadership, the city’s geographic area grew by more than 50%; Orlando became positioned as a high-tech center and competitive international market; the arts were elevated to a civic priority and economic driver; unprecedented partnerships in education were established; and regional transportation alternatives were championed. Glenda implemented strategies that encouraged the growth of businesses that contributed to the overall strength of Orlando’s local economy and she was instrumental in the renaissance of the city’s downtown.
As Mayor, Glenda spearheaded the reuse plan for the Orlando Naval Training Center, the most ambitious economic development project in the City’s history. This project is widely recognized across the country as one of the best examples of reuse of former government properties. It is a success story frequently held up as a model for incorporating all elements of smart growth and one of the best examples of civic engagement with which the City has ever been involved.
A sought-after advisor for her ability to help bridge public and private sectors, Glenda has long been a leading figure in promoting civic growth and change for America’s cities through community investment, arts and cultural collaborations, and internationalism. An experienced and insightful media guest, Glenda has appeared on national, state and local TV and radio and been quoted as well as featured in print and online, discussing topics and legislation affecting cities, homeland security, economic and election issues.
She has been a key leader and advisor on domestic security and disaster preparedness for the State of Florida, chairing the Domestic Security Advisory Panel for Governor Bush; serving on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council, State and Local Officials and Private Sector Senior Advisory committees, and chairing the Department’s Administration Transition Task Force. Long recognized as a leader in international economic development, Glenda created the Metro Orlando International Affairs Council under the Metro Orlando Economic Development Council and has led numerous business missions worldwide for the Orlando region and State of Florida.
Glenda has served as President of the National League of Cities, Florida League of Cities, and Chairman of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. She is a national Trustee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), an active participant with ULI’s Advisory Services panels as well as an Advisory Board member of the ULI/National League of Cities Rose Center for Public Leadership. She is also a long standing Board member and current Board Chair of Partners for Livable Communities, a national nonprofit organization working to restore and renew communities nationwide. Hood was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and currently serves on the corporate boards of SantaFe HealthCare; Baskerville-Donovan, Inc. and is Chairman of the Board of Axiom Bank. She is a Board member of Florida’s Gubernatorial Fellows Program. Over many years, she has lead and served on a variety of significant corporate, government and non-profits boards.
Glenda has been recognized with numerous awards and honors in both her public and private careers, including Laureate in the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame; the Orlando Business Journal Women Who Mean Business Legacy Award; the Founders Award and John Parr Award for Civic Leadership from Partners for Livable Communities; the Award of Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships and the Outstanding Achievement in City Livability Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors; the National League of Cities’ President’s Award; the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Champion of Free Trade Award; the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s Public Official Leadership Award; the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Government Hispanic Business Advocate of the Year; and the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ)’s Humanitarian Award, just to name a few.
She has been named “Municipal Official of the Year” by American City and County Magazine, “Outstanding Public Official” by the American Planning Association, one of the “Most Influential People in Business and Government” by Orlando Business Journal, “The Best of Orlando” by Orlando Magazine, Central Florida Women in Transportation’s “Woman of the Year,” one of “33 People, Places and Events that Impacted the Tallahassee Area” by the Tallahassee Democrat, “Florida’s Volunteer of the Year” by the Southern Economic Development Council, a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International, and Rollins College’s Alumnus of the Year.
Glenda received her B.A. degree from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, after studying in both Spain and Costa Rica. She has completed the Executive Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Mayor’s Urban Design Institute at the University of Virginia, and the Society of International Business Fellows Program. She is a graduate of the inaugural class of Leadership Florida.
A fifth generation Floridian, Glenda and her husband Charles have been married for over 40 years. They live in Orlando and are the proud parents of three married children and 11 grandchildren.