Chelsi Henry Bennett, Esq. currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor to Richmond's Chief Administrative Officer. She is a motivational speaker, Bible teacher, former elected official, Founder, AlwaysPraying.com, and Founder/CEO of Life with Chelsi, Inc. Mrs. Bennett is also a member of the Junior League of Richmond Board of Directors and Children's Home Society Junior Board. In 2017, she was selected for her first international task force with the Association of Junior Leagues International.
Mrs. Bennett began her career working for a global company with offices in over 70 countries. During her tenure, she created and published global newsletters, built internal SharePoint websites, managed diversity committees globally, and planned and executed events in India, Israel, North America, and the United Kingdom. From Information Technology to Human Resources, she built a portfolio that showcases her ability to strategize, collaborate across cultures, and execute global plans.
Mrs. Bennett was elected in 2010 as the Commissioner/Supervisor of Soil and Water Conservation District Group 5 in Jacksonville, Florida. She served for 3 years, where she petitioned and advocated on behalf of her community. Mrs. Bennett ran and was elected on a platform of bringing corporate, executive experience to her passion for natural resource conservation. She was the youngest elected female in Jacksonville’s history.
While serving her community as an elected official, Mrs. Bennett completed her law degree at Florida Coastal School of Law and was a campus missionary at a local HBCU. She also served as VP of Communications and as a Board Member for GlobalJax, hosting international delegations and leading the organization's rebranding campaign and gala.
After serving as an elected official, Mrs. Bennett was appointed by a Florida Cabinet member (statewide elected) to serve as a Senior Policy Advisor in Florida's Capitol. Her portfolio included environmental, military, and veterans' affairs. She led the national launch of Operation Dispatch, a statewide initiative that provides military trained firefighters credit when applying to become Florida certified firefighters. Mrs. Bennett also served as Senior Advisor for Turkey Point 6 and 7, which sought approval for two nuclear plants and two transmission lines in South Florida. She interacted and managed communications with constituents, lobbyists, government agencies, and a dozen opposing parties.
While in Tallahassee, she also provided pro-bono legal counsel and assistance to low-income families in need. Mrs. Bennett's cases provided her experience in wills and estates, guardianship, and contractual disputes.
Mrs. Bennett has been described as a "dynamic, motivating" speaker. She has spoken to many groups across the nation, where she shares her faith, background, and values and provides strategies to assist groups with inclusion of youth, women, and minorities.
Mrs. Bennett is a founding member of 2020 Leaders of America, a bipartisan organization focused on criminal justice reform. In 2014, she was recognized by CNN as one of ten “Up-and-Comers to Watch” and a "Rising Star" by the Republican National Committee. Mrs. Bennett was also a columnist for Ebony magazine and has appeared on CNN, FOX, MTV, CBN, BBC, MSNBC, TV One, Newsmax, and numerous local stations.
Mrs. Bennett has been highlighted via National Journal, National Review, Tampa Bay Times, Essence Magazine, The Blaze, and countless other publications. She was also profiled in the October 2012 issue of Seventeen magazine as an “Electionista” to promote the importance of young women voting and also in the November issue of Glamour.
She has a heart for young adults and often shares the victories and obstacles of her life as encouragement and motivation. The combination of Mrs. Bennett's political activism, business acumen, community service, and legal knowledge will prove to be vital as she continues advocating and educating others on the conservative, faith-based values and principles she believes in and lives by. She launched AlwaysPraying.com as an avenue to promote prayer and motivate young adults to seek spiritual guidance.
Mrs. Bennett is originally from Jacksonville, Florida. She is a 2013 graduate of Florida Coastal School of Law and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2014. She graduated in 2009 from the University of North Florida with a B.B.A. in Business Management and a minor in Mass Communication. She is the proud wife of her favorite pastor, Jonathan. They reside in Richmond, Virginia, and lead a teen and young adult ministry.