Ashley Spicola serves as Vice President at Continental Strategy. Spicola is a veteran policy advisor and strategist with insider-level knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the Florida state budget process, from developing a proposed budget to the governor’s signature or veto.
Prior to joining our team, Spicola served as a consultant for the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida. She advised and developed policy and budget proposals for its 14-member hospital systems throughout Florida. She adeptly navigated the complex business and policy environment in which hospital systems operate to administer the most complicated care to the most critical patients, including children.
Throughout her career, Spicola has advised on complex policy and state budget matters. She spent more than 15 years serving in the highest levels of the executive branch of government. During the Rick Scott Administration, Ashley served as the head of the Education Policy and Budget team, where she was the lead advisor on education policy matters for PreK-12, state college system, and the university system, which accounted for $20 billion in state budget priorities. She spearheaded many reforms to reduce costs and bolster outcomes for Florida students, including working with college presidents and administration officials to create the first-of-its-kind $10,000 degree.
Spicola also worked with the Florida Legislature to increase teacher pay, expand school choice, expand Florida’s Bright Futures scholarship program, limit tuition and fee increases at colleges and universities, provide tax cuts for college textbooks, and modernize the state budget process so that more funding follows students through Florida’s K-12 system.
In 2011, Spicola staffed the Government Efficiency Task Force Subcommittee on Education, which focused on generating $3 billion in savings for taxpayers. To ensure taxpayer funding was being properly used transparently. Spicola led the audit of more than 1,600 Special Districts in Florida, including developing criteria for the examination of district functions, operations, governance, and financials.
During the Charlie Crist Administration, Spicola served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp, where she managed the day-to-day functions of the office, including interfacing with the Florida Legislature and other public officials, developing messaging and outreach strategies, and serving as the policy director for the Lt. Governor. As Deputy Chief, Spicola developed recommendations for the HOPE Taskforce to provide housing solutions to families priced out of the market.
When she’s not working, Spicola volunteers her time at her church, supporting University of Florida alumni events, including serving on the Tallahassee Alumni Board for Florida Blue Key. In addition, she is an alumna of the American Council of Young Political Leaders. Most importantly, she is raising a family with her husband, Will, their sons, and their full-size-poodle Koko.