Bethany Swonson McAlister
CHIEF OF STAFF
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” -Proverbs 27:17
Bethany Swonson McAlister is a third-generation military brat who has lived in 17 different communities throughout her life before moving to Tallahassee to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Florida State University. Her family’s values and commitment to public service have formed her professional mission to be a diligent teammate who shows kindness to all while ultimately helping cultivate meaningful outcomes that leave each person and community better than before.
Bethany brings a unique skill set and perspective with over a decade of professional experience in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors. Before joining Corcoran Partners, she held high-level positions inside state government and nonprofits and managed several global hospitality accounts in the communication field. These experiences have equipped her with the considerable ingenuity and knowledge needed to successfully navigate a range of policy areas.
Known for her ability to develop and maintain meaningful relationships, she has an extensive network of leaders across the state. She most recently served as the Chief of Staff for the Florida Department of Education, after serving the agency as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Affairs Director and the Executive Director for the Florida Education Foundation. In 2015, she was introduced to the nonprofit world when she joined Leadership Florida serving as the Member Services and Resource Development Manager. This experience led her to pursue her Master’s of Nonprofit Management from the University of Tampa. At the beginning of her career, Bethany served as an Account Manager at a top-tier public relations and advertising firm, The Zimmerman Agency. Most importantly, however, she holds the titles of wife, believer, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, Guardian ad Litem, and Floridian.
Her accomplishments include leading annual million-dollar development efforts, securing a multi-year grant spearheading civic literacy education opportunities across Florida, successfully advocating for Florida’s students and educators on numerous historical policies and significant investments in education, hosting renowned national events, and executing a statewide U.S. Senate debate. These endeavors demonstrate her passion and ability in what she believes is one of the essential aspects of business and life, connecting people and forming successful partnerships that have positive statewide impacts.
Outside of her professional career, Bethany can be found at Florida’s Forgotten Coast on the weekends and is passionate about her community, serving as an active board member for Tree House of Tallahassee and Guardian ad Litem. She resides in Tallahassee with her husband Lee and beloved dog, Ellie.