COS Distinguished Alumni Award Winner 2017: Alan Florez

Alan Florez ’98

Receiving an education at the University of Central Florida can open many doors for a student. Our renowned faculty and staff pour their resources into students and allow them to reach new heights that seem impossible. For this month’s Outstanding Alumknight, the support he received at UCF allowed him to work to achieve success in both the government and private sector.

Alan Florez was initially interested in UCF because of the options it provided him. He debated going to USF or UF, but due to UCF’s location and excellent political science program, he chose to be a Knight.

“It was the best decision for my own personal interests,” Florez said. “The school being located in Orlando in addition to the campus life and papers I had read that came out of the political science professors really solidified my choice.”

This choice got him involved in some of his most memorable clubs and activities Florez had participated in to date. He was president of the Hispanic American Student Association, which propelled him in UCF student government.

“I will always remember my O-team leader, Yvonne Castellon,” Florez said. “She encouraged me to go to the student senate budget meetings. The senate was discussing the HASA budget among other club budgets. I was immediately interested with HASA and being a part of a club cemented my love for UCF’s environment for student involvement and I took it from there. I later became president of HASA and was asked by the student body president to become the Director of Student Lobbying.”

Through his experiences with UCF’s student organizations, Florez learned how to take issues and fix them. He thinks his involvement truly made him live the UCF experience. Several UCF faculty who supported him during his immersion in clubs gave him contacts that led him into the governor’s office.

“The position I held was deputy director of legislative affairs,” Florez explained. “Then I became special assistant to Governor Bush as his personal aide. My involvement and connections were all a result from my time at UCF.”

Florez’ experiences with Bush came just as the infamous 2004 hurricanes were plaguing Florida. Both he and the governor had their abilities put to the test. Florez was able to experience the governor at his best and really got to see his strong heart and ability to put pieces together in a time of emergency.

“In a crisis, nothing is easy,” Florez said. “The governor felt strongly about being immediately available where the worst of the storms occurred. It was an honor to work in his administration during this time and to be able to see government performing its most essential function during a crisis.”

Even with his busy schedule Florez never forgot his roots as a knight. He served two terms as a member of the UCF Board of Trustees and now serves on the Board of the UCF Athletics Association and the UCF Foundation.

Florez currently functions as the CEO and Partner of Halifax Insurance Partners. He loves the freedom his career offers him and the opportunity to be entrepreneurial.

“The thing that is most gratifying is being able to design what it is you want to do, what services you want to offer and how you want to operate the business,” Florez explained.

Throughout his career Florez has gained indescribable experiences and advice that have shaped him into the man he is today. He wants to pass on some advice he received on his journey to all UCF students and alumni.

“Everyone should be involved in public service at one point in their lives,” Florez said. “It teaches you valuable lessons and prevents you from being a passive onlooker. You get involved and I assure you, it pays back tenfold.”

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