2023 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute Class Announced

We have selected 29 participants from across the region for our 2023 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute. Through this annual initiative, our foundation provides intensive, high-quality leadership training designed to identify, develop, and connect a diverse and growing group of aspiring community leaders. The result is growing a network of skilled, action-oriented leaders who are committed to using their new skills to help transform their communities through service.

Class members will take part in six training sessions from May through June conducted by the nationally recognized Leadership Development Institute at Eckerd College. We provide all training and resources at no cost to participants in exchange for their commitment to use their new skills to benefit the community.

The 29 participants selected for the 2023 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute are:

Jasmine Akins, CAN Community Health

Charlene Altenhain, The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center

Uzi Baram, UBHeritage LLC

Emilie Campos, Harvest House

Kecia Carroll, KC Roberg

Chris Collins, Ability to Include, Inc.

Misty Daniels, Community Volunteer

Grier Ferguson, Church of the Redeemer

Marlene Hauck, Lee & Bob Peterson Foundation/Sunshine from Darkness

Megan Howell, Second Heart Homes, Inc.

Ashley Jimenez, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Jessica Johnston, SPARCC

Cynthia Keaton, Prescott HR

Amber Lamerson, The Bay Park Conservancy

Will Luera, Florida Studio Theatre

Cole McHargue, Merrill Lynch

Michael Meerman, CareerSource Suncoast

Anne Miller, Operation ECO Vets

Sarah Miller, NAMI Sarasota and Manatee Counties

Nan Morgan, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida

Steven Pajevic, Crystal Clean Green Cleaning

Karen Pharo, Children First

Mark Royce, Bayside Sod Inc.

Evan Samson, DMSI International

Tiona Settles, Centerplace Health

Lauren Stroman, The Sarasota Ballet

Kiarra Womack, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation

Earl Young, Take Stock in Children/Booker Promise

Lisa Zachary, SunCoast Blood Centers


This is the 17th year that we have offered Gulf Coast Leadership Institute. In all, about 400 community members have completed the training provided through this leadership-development initiative. Many continue to work together on civic initiatives and community-improvement projects, as well as participate in periodic learning and reunion opportunities offered to Gulf Coast Leadership Institute alumni.

For more information on the program, please click here.


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