December E-Cast
Message from President & CEO Wendy Spencer
Dear Members,

Did you know that there are 750,000 alums from city, state, and similar Leadership programs around the nation? Wow, I found that to be an impressive number! In November I attended a gathering of the Directors of the State Leadership Programs and we discussed the powerful influence alums of Leadership programs from around the country would have if everyone rallied around a single issue.

We recently audited our records to determine how many leaders have participated in our programs since Leadership Florida started in 1982. We discovered that more than 3,100 Floridians have participated in a Leadership Florida program. Some of those programs have sunsetted, however we still benefit from many of the participants in their continued involvement in region events and more.

I do not necessarily propose that we as Leadership Florida members find an issue to unite around, but it does remind me of the vast networks, organizations, businesses, friendships and colleagues YOU represent. And that you can and should find ways to take what you learned from your Leadership Florida experiences, and use the network you have expanded in your engagements to select your own ways to make the community you call home a better place to live.

Hopefully, you will start by participating in a Leadership Florida Day of Service event hosted by your region. Watch our website and social media channels for special announcements coming soon. Please join your Leadership Florida fellow members to participate in a service activity. Many of them will be offered during the national Martin Luther King Day of Service throughout the weekend beginning January 12, 2018.

Not only will you be helping your community, I am positive you will enjoy either reconnecting with your Leadership Florida members you already know, or you will meet new members and foster new relationships that will last for many years to come. 
So, thanks in advance for joining in and using your heart and hands to help your community!  Meanwhile, all of us from your Leadership Florida team wish each of you a very happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year!
2018 Annual Meeting Room Block Now Open!
We are thrilled to announce our group reservation link for the 2018 Annual Meeting hosted at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota is now open!  

The Annual Meeting will begin on the evening of Thursday, June 14, and conclude at noon on Sunday, June 17. 

Leadership Florida has rooms blocked off at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, as well as the Westin Sarasota Resort and Spa located directly next door to The Ritz.  Our members will enjoy a reduced Ritz-Carlton rate of $209.00, and a Westin Resort and Spa reduced rate of $155.00.   

We expect our blocks to fill up quickly, so please book your room at your earliest convenience.  Also, please be advised there is a limit of one room per member with our group rate. 

To reserve a room at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, click HERE .
To reserve a room at the Westin Sarasota Resort and Spa, click HERE .  
Last Chance to Be Included in the Directory!
If you have paid your annual dues, you are all set and will be included in our 2018 Leadership Florida Directory. However, if you have not paid your annual dues, please remember there is still time. We want to see your beautiful face in the 2018 Leadership Florida Directory! To make sure this happens, please submit your membership dues as soon as possible! Membership dues are so important in helping us continue to bring you top notch "but for" Leadership Florida programming, present exciting new speakers, provide access to your fellow members online and through our print directory, produce regional and statewide events, and more.

Remember, attendance at the Leadership Florida Annual Meeting scheduled for June 14-17, 2018 at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, is limited to dues paying members and their guests.  This year's Annual Meeting is going to be one for the books, and we would hate for you to miss out.   Plus, we want YOU included in the official Leadership Florida Directory and all of our regular communications!

Please click on the link HERE to pay your 2017-2018 annual membership dues.  Please note, once you click the above link there is an option to receive an invoice for check payments to be mailed. Please submit your dues to us at your earliest convenience.   

Thank you for your continued support!
Leadership Florida Job Board
Introducing the new Leadership Florida Job Board! As members send us word of exciting new available positions, we will be posting them to our website and sending them out in our monthly E-casts. We hope you enjoy this added membership benefit.

Please send any jobs you would like advertised to Rachel Pratt at
Movers & Shakers

  • Jennifer Rominiecki, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXVI, was honored at the AJC West Coast Florida 2017 Civic Achievement Award Dinner on November 16, 2017. (top left) 
  • Dr. Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXVI, won the 2017 ATHENA Leadership Award. (top right)
  • Dr. Kamela Patton, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXI, was presented with the 2017 Star Superintendent Award by The Consortium of Florida Education Foundation. (bottom left)
  • Aakash Patel, College Leadership Florida VII, won the 2017 Deanne Dewey Roberts Emerging Leader of the Year by Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. (bottom right)
Promotions/New Employment
  • Mike Bell, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXV, has joined BGE, Inc. as vice president in BGE’s Sarasota office. 
  • John Annis, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXII, has joined the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation as senior vice president of collaboration and impact.
  • Jonathan Schwartz, Leadership Florida Connect Class VII, has joined BBX Capital Corporation as director of construction for the company's retail brands.
  • Michael Thornton, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXIII, has been named the new president and chief executive officer for AMIkids.
Appointments & Selections
  • Dr. Paul Burns, Leadership Florida Education Class II, has been named Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality for the Florida Department of Education.
  • Tom Luzier, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXIV, has been voted chair of the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC). The FREC is a commission of seven members from throughout Florida appointed by Governor Rick Scott, and is responsible for administering and enforcing Florida's real estate License law to protect the state's consumers.
  • Patricia Engfer, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXIII, is now on the board of directors for the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation. 
  • Jeffrey Scott Bartel, Leadership Florida past chair and Cornerstone Class XIII, has been named to the board of directors of the Camillus House.
  • MaryRose Sirianni, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXV, is the new Chair for the Northwest Region.
  • Alex Dominguez, Leadership Florida Connect VI and Nicole Washington, Leadership Florida Connect VII, have been selected into The Miami Foundation's next cohort of Miami Fellows.
  • Orlando Business Journal selected Rachael Kobb, Leadership Florida Connect Class VIII, as a member of its 2017 40 Under 40. 
  • Steve Hall, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXIV, is now the president-elect for the Sarasota Manatee Human Resource Association and will become president in 2018.  He is also the vice chair for Tidewell Hospice and Stratum Health System, as well as the co-chair on the finance committee for Pontus Health.
  • Mayor Oliver Gilbert, III, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXVI was elected to the National League of Cities’ Board of Directors.
Orange Bowl Committee & Board of Directors
  • Don Slesnick, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class IX, is now president of the 2017 Capital One Orange Bowl, scheduled for December 30 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Other Leadership Florida Alum serving as officers on the Orange Bowl Committee/BODs include:
  • Sean Pittman, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXI
  • Jose C. Romano, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXV
  • Mario Trueba, Leadership Florida past chair and Cornerstone Class XIX is serving on the 2017-18 Orange Bowl Board of Directors
Day of Service
Leadership Florida members are getting into the spirit of giving! Over the next two months members from across the state will be coming together for our “but for” Leadership Florida Days of Service project, which aims to strengthen our communities! The West Central Region kicked off this initiative by partnering with Onbikes in Tampa to build bikes for 800 at-risk youths in the Tampa Bay area. Check out some awesome photos below!

The Gulfstream Region’s Day of Service is on deck! The region will be serving breakfast to local senior citizens in the Palm Beach Gardens area. Click HERE to view the invitation and register! 
Catching Up With Classes
Leadership Florida Education Class III
Leadership Florida Education Class III had a fabulous second session in Palm Beach Gardens at the end of October. They re-examined standards and how to leverage them for greater equity in student outcomes; gained knowledge of research, specific steps, and opportunities to be a leader in closing the achievement gap in Florida, as well as be a national leader in K-12 education. Education members spent time during their session learning from phenomenal speakers, relationship building, and experiencing a “but for” dinner at the Manatee Lagoon. 

Speakers Included:
  • Ben Jackson, Partner, The New Teacher Project
  • Katherin Gerson, Managing Partner, UnboundEd Learning
  • Dr. Robert Avossa, Superintendent, Palm Beach County Schools
  • Robert Balfanz, PhD, Research Professor, Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins
  • Jim Balfanz, President, City Year

Member Quotes:
  • “Great work is evident in Palm Beach.  Enjoyed the Superintendent’s passion—it is evident his leadership has raised the ceiling for all students.”
  • “I really appreciate the opportunity to reflect on what knowledge we gained.”

Upcoming Session Dates:
  • Orlando—Embassy Suites, January 25-26, 2018
  • Tallahassee—Aloft, February 22-23, 2018
Leadership Florida Connect Class VIII
Leadership Florida Connect Class VIII met in Pensacola for its second session. During the session class members witnessed amazing speakers; engaged in a downtown photo scavenger hunt; celebrated the military and toured the National Naval Aviation Museum, Institute for Human & Machine Cognition and the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum. Click HERE for a fun video recap!

Speakers Included:
  • Tony Carvajal, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation (Class XXVI)
  • Quint Studer, Businessman & Entrepreneur, Founder, Studer Community Institute
  • Dr. Judy Bense, President Emeritus and Professor, University of West Florida
  • Mayor Ashton Hayward, City of Pensacola (Cornerstone XXXVI)
  • Jennifer Allen McFarren, Community Development, Gulf Power (Connect VI)
  • Jennifer Grove, Community Development, Gulf Power (Cornerstone XXXIII)
  • Kim Krupa, Director, Achieve Escambia
  • Stan Connally (Executive VIII), President & CEO, Gulf Power
  • Dr. Ed Meadows, President, Pensacola State College
  • Mark Faulkner, President & CEO, Baptist Health Care (Executive VIII)
  • Lonnie Wesley, Pastor, Greater Little Rock Baptist Church
  • Doug Brown, Executive Director, Community Action Program Committee, Inc.
  • Captain Sterling Gilliam, USN (Ret) | Director, National Naval Aviation Museum
  • Julie Sheppard, General Counsel, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (Cornerstone XXV)
  • Judge Amy Broderson, First Judicial Circuit Court of Florida
  • Wendy Spencer, Leadership Florida President and CEO (Cornerstone XXIV)

Member Quotes:
  • “I loved learning more about the issues facing Florida and the statewide and local perceptions.”
  • “Achieve Escambia and IHMC were very powerful.  I felt proud that each program was a Florida program.  They were honest, thoughtful and programs we’d all like in our communities.”

Upcoming Connect Session Dates:
  • Tallahassee—Hotel Duval, February 8-10, 2018
  • Miami—The Conrad, April 12-14, 2018
  • Sarasota—Ritz Carlton (Annual Meeting), June 14-17, 2018
Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXVI
Leadership Florida’s Cornerstone Class XXXVI opening session (long delayed by Hurricane Irma) in Naples was fantastic! The class experienced fabulous speakers; learned about Florida’s environment; and bonded over amazing “but for” experiences like a beachfront dinner, a visit to the Naples Art Association, and a boardwalk tour at the famous Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. 

Speakers Included:
  • John Streitmatter, Leadership Florida Cornerstone XXIII, Director, Leadership Research Institute
  • Clay Henderson, Leadership Florida Cornerstone XVII, Senior Counsel, Holland and Knight
  • Jason Lauritsen, Director, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
  • Casey Fitzgerald, Springs Protection Initiative Director
  • Stephen E. Davis III, Ph.D., Wetland Ecologist, The Everglades Foundation
  • Alec Bogdanoff, Ph.D., President & Co-Founder, Brizaga
  • Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer Reynolds, Deputy District Commander for South Florida
  • Dr. Peter Hammerschmidt, Professor of Economics, Eckerd College
  • John Schmieding, Leadership Florida Cornerstone XXXV, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Arthrex
  • Ginny Dailey, Leadership Florida Cornerstone XXV, Cornerstone Co-Chair
  • John Dailey, Leadership Florida Cornerstone XXVI, Cornerstone Co-Chair

Member Quotes:
  • “Thank you to the Leadership Florida Team who coordinated the week and made this possible and to our amazing leaders in the Daileys!”
  • “Exceeded expectations—can’t wait for the next session!”

Upcoming Cornerstone Session Dates: 
  • Saint Petersburg—The Vinoy, January 17-19, 2018
  • Tallahassee—Hotel Duval, February 28-March 2, 2018
  • Miami—The Conrad, May 9-12, 2018
  • Sarasota—The Ritz-Carlton (Annual Meeting), June 14-17, 2018
Upcoming Events

  • December 9, 2017: West Central Region Presents: Day of Service 7th Annual Winter Wonder Ride with Onbikes (Click HERE to view the invitation)
  • December 9, 2017: Gold Coast Region 2017 Winterfest Boat Parade (ALL SLOTS ARE FULL FOR THIS EVENT)
  • December 12, 2017: Northeast Region Lunch and Learn (Details coming soon...)
  • December 15, 2017: Gulfstream Region Day of Service (Click HERE to view the invitation)
  • December 19, 2017: Northwest Region Holiday Party (Click HERE to view the invitation)
Thank You Sponsors!

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