Betsy VanderLey has lived in Orange County for 50 years and is deeply rooted in the fabric of the community. Her career has been on three tracks, first as a business owner and contractor, secondly as a business development professional, and thirdly in public service.
As a business professional, she owned a construction company working under State guidelines to provide the installation of clean‐up equipment on contaminated sites throughout the State. She later entered the architecture and engineering field as a business development professional and currently owns The Continuum Collaborative, a business development and advocacy firm.
Becoming involved in politics first in 1998 when her father first ran for the office of Mayor of the Town of Oakland, Betsy has since played a role in many races in West Orange and South Lake Counties providing management, planning and strategy. At the same time, she was serving as a civic volunteer on a variety of boards and committees, including two terms on the Orange County Planning and Zoning board. In 2016, Betsy ran for office and was elected as an Orange County Commissioner in 2016.
For Orange County District 1, former Commissioner VanderLey presided over one of the fastest-growing regions of the State, west Orange County outside of downtown Orlando and abutting the Walt Disney World and regional tourism corridors. In her district, residential building permits numbered in the 55‐60% range of all residential building permits pulled in unincorporated Orange County during her tenure. This growth was, in part, attributed to an 18,000‐acre master-planned area called Horizon West. With no single master developer for this master plan, and with the County as an original partner in creating its long‐term planning framework, VanderLey invested her time and attention to the master plan to ensure that the original vision played out and appropriate attention was given to the infrastructure needs of the area.
From 2013 – 2020 in her roles on both the zoning board and commission, she worked closely with public and private planners, developers, home builders, residents, and the environmental community to ensure growth demands did not sacrifice good community stewardship. Her district’s infrastructure also faced significant demands for improvements, resulting in her forging strong working relationships with FDOT, the Water Management Districts, the Central Florida Expressway Authority, and the surrounding Seminole, Brevard, Polk and Lake Counties. Betsy was instrumental in advancing three major new roadways connecting Highway 27 and S.R. 429 and was able to move up construction on the I‐4 Beyond the Ultimate project, also keeping a new interchange from being dropped from the project.
VanderLey has been honored as the 2014 District 1 citizen of the year, as the 2014 Greater Orlando Builder’s Association Eagle award recipient, the 2017 West Orange Boy Scouts Eagle Award winner, the 2018 Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Public Servant of the Year, and Friends of Lake Apopka Jim Thomas Environmental Hero of 2020 award.
VanderLey resides in Oakland with her husband Todd. They have 3 children and 4 grandchildren including three‐year‐old twins. Notably, their daughter is a Blackhawk helicopter pilot for the United States Army, currently assigned to South Korea.
In addition to serving as a Commissioner for Orange County, Ms. VanderLey has served her community with many worthwhile organizations including: