TEAM / Sheela VanHoose

Sheela VanHoose joined The Southern Group in 2019, bringing with her over 15 years of public policy, advocacy, and campaign experience. She is an education advocate who has worked across multiple states and successfully secured over $64 million in legislative appropriations for computer science professional development.  

Across Florida, Sheela consults with clients on education and workforce-related issues. She is a policy thought leader and often speaks about the intersection of technology and education. Currently, she serves on the Florida Advisory board for Cognia (formerly AdvancED) and on the board of directors for Tech Hub South Florida. 

Prior to joining The Southern Group, Sheela was the Director of State Government Affairs for, where she led the organization’s policy work across 15 states. She has held similar positions with Charter Schools USA and Broward County Public Schools.

At Broward, she served as project lead for the “SMART Initiative”- Broward County Public Schools’ initiative to educate stakeholders of the critical school needs that existed, resulting in the successful passage of an $800 million bond referendum with 74% voter approval.

Before entering the K-12 education space, Sheela held several political posts, including Regional Representative, Special Assistant, and Director of Scheduling in the administration of Governor Rick Scott’s (R-Florida). She has also served in the United States Senate under Senator George LeMieux (R-Florida).   

Outside of her professional career, Sheela is passionate about her community. She served from 2014-2017 as a gubernatorial appointee to the Board of Commissioners for the North Broward Hospital District (d/b/a Broward Health). She is an active member of the Leadership Broward (Class of XXXIV) and serves on the boards of PACE Center for Girls and Covenant House Florida. She is a black belt and a former member of the United States National Karate Team.   

Sheela is a South Florida native and lives in Parkland, Florida, with her husband and daughter. 

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Many members of our powerhouse team in Tallahassee have served in leadership positions at the highest levels of Florida state government.