Let’s Celebrate Leadership Sarasota County!


Leadership Sarasota boasts over 900 graduates since 1985.  As the program celebrates its’ 31st year the graduates continue to leave their legacy within the community. The Class of 2016 has come together to work on their project, dubbed Academy Farms: Project Grow at Easter Seals of Southwest Florida. During their four-month effort, the  class has added plumbing to the three existing hoop houses, installed concrete walkways to allow for easier wheelchair access, transport garden and compost areas and provided outdoor wash stations. The project was selected after the 2016 class toured the Easter Seals of Southwest Florida campus and its organic farm last fall. A grand reveal is scheduled for Earth Day, April 22, 2016. Other class projects include Habitat For Humanity, a reading garden, Patriots Park in Venice, Michael Biehl Park renovation in Venice, playground and garden at the Boys & Girls Club, and the list goes on and on. Some graduates have made considerable life changes as a result of their Leadership Sarasota County experience.

The 2016 Leadership Sarasota County class includes:

Jaide Beverly, Danielle Brown, Carisa Campanella, Rachel Cannon, Scott Coquinco, Winola Davidson, Jennifer Elkins, Douglas Elmore, Robyn Faucy, Melissa Fernands, Van Franklin, Andrew Germann, Michele Groves, Jon Hillard, Zachary Holzworth, Alicia King, Erin Knievel, Cameron Kolesa, Michael Kulaw, Scott La Porta, Alicia Larkins, Emmalee Legler, Jonathan Lewis, Ella Lewis, Yolanda Mancha, Tiffany Mangold, Susie Marro, Linda McCollum, Melissa Niewold, Deva O’Donnell, Debi Osborne, Nick Owens, Gina Palanzi, Brittany Riner, Marissa Rossnagle, Ashley Salter, Stacey Sharples, David Sylvester, William Thompson, Katharine Vestal, Carl Watkins, Randy Whitmer, and Jennifer Wiseman.

We greatly appreciate the participants of Leadership Sarasota County for making Sarasota County a World Class Community through Inspired Leadership since 1984!

The program is volunteer driven and recent graduates as well as graduates from years past continue to pay it forward by staying involved. Whether they have a seat on the Leadership Council, Chair a committee, or volunteer to plan one of the many days, it’s the volunteers who drive the program forward. Volunteers also work heavily with the newly launched Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) and the Youth Leadership program for high school juniors.

Each spring select graduates are honored by their peers. On April 26th, Tom Tryon, Frank Maggio and Terry Redman will be honored for their generous contributions to Leadership Sarasota County and the community. Willis Smith Construction Company will be honored as the Corporate Partner of the year and will serve as presenting sponsor of the event.

As the Classes of 2016 prepare to graduate and leave their marks, applications are available for the three programs’ Classes of 2017. Visit the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce website for further information.

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