Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice has announced the 24 aspiring and experienced community leaders who will take part in the 2011 class of its Gulf Coast Leadership Institute.  The participants begin the three-month leadership development program with a two-day opening retreat on Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14.

Gulf Coast Leadership Institute identifies and develops a diverse group of knowledgeable, skilled, and action-oriented leaders who can help build a stronger region.  Community members selected for the 2011 Leadership Institute will take part in seven training sessions from May through July led by the nationally recognized Fanning Institute of the University of Georgia.  Gulf Coast Community Foundation provides all training, resources, and networking opportunities at no cost to participants.  All participants have made a commitment to use their newly gained skills for the long-term benefit of the community.

“Titles and leaders are two different things,” said Teri A Hansen, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation.  “Gulf Coast Leadership Institute will help these talented citizens develop the skills and self-knowledge they need to become stronger individual leaders—whether they’re seasoned or emerging leaders.  And together, they’ll form a committed group that is ready to act to benefit our region.”

Participants in the 2011 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute are:

  • Danette Bartolotta, Vice President, ROI Media
  • Judie Bauer, community volunteer
  • Michael Beaumier, Project Executive, W.G. Mills
  • Nancy Blackstone, self-employed RN, psychologist
  • Richard Cautero, Executive Advisor, Executive Advisory Services
  • Ray Collins, Principal, Ray Collins Media
  • KC Conti, Broker-Owner, Golf Breeze Realty
  • Chris Coviello, Director of Development, Epiphany Cathedral Parish and School
  • Pam Day, Executive Director, Designing Women Boutique
  • Don Hall, Executive Director, Transition Sarasota
  • Todd Kerkering, Emergency Management Planning Chief, Sarasota County Government
  • Lora Kosten, Faculty Coordinator, USF Sarasota-Manatee at North Port
  • Denise Kowal, self-employed landlord
  • Michael Longworth, Principal/Partner, Sabal Trust Company
  • Steve Martin, CEO/Wealth Advisor, SRQ Wealth Management
  • Jeff McGrath, President/Owner, DRTM Ventures
  • Dawn Moore, community volunteer
  • Melissa Perkins, Coordinator of Senior Outreach/Victim Advocate, Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies
  • Patrick Seidensticker, Chief Financial Officer, Libby’s Café & Bar
  • Gardner Sherrill, Wealth Advisor, Wells Fargo Private Bank
  • Betsy Steiner, Consultant
  • Russell Strayer, Project Manager, Strayer Surveying and Mapping
  • Todd Sweet, Principal/Partner, TOTeMS Architecture
  • Olivia Thomas, Executive Director, Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center

This is the fourth class of Gulf Coast Leadership Institute, which has graduated 80 leaders in the past three years.  The regional Leadership Institute grew out of Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s successful North Port Leadership Institute, which offered the same leadership training to 45 participants in North Port in 2006 and 2007.