The Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF), in coordination with The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, congratulates the 2019 graduating classes of Leadership Collier and Growing Associates in Naples. The graduation reception was held Thursday, April 18 at Artis—Naples. Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office was the featured speaker and Collier County Public Schools superintendent Kamela Patton was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Each year, graduates of Leadership Collier Foundation programs are exposed to local issues and are encouraged to use their leadership skills and knowledge to support the community.
The LCF Board of Directors congratulates the following Leadership Collier 2019 Class members:
CHAIR: James French, Collier County Government
VICE-CHAIR: Chief Tabatha Butcher, Collier County Emergency Medical Services
VICE-CHAIR: Trista Meister, Mindful Marketing Florida
Bryce Alexander, The Naples Players
Carlos Artime, Collier County Public Schools
Sarah Baeckler Davis, Humane Society Naples
Athan Barkoukis, Friends of Rookery Bay
Christina Blake, Iberia Bank
Katina Bouza, Collier County Sheriff’s Office
Laura Burns, United Arts Council of Collier County
Kelly Clark, Berkshire Hathaway
Thaddeus Cohen, Collier County
Shannon Dilworth, Hilton Naples
Lisa Drescher, FineMark National Bank & Trust
Julie Franklin, The Shelter for Abused Women & Children
Ryan Frost, Naples Airport Authority
Jill Gaffoli, Physicians Regional Healthcare System
Daniel Hartley, Peninsula Engineering
Thomas Iandimarino, National Park Service
Robin King, Collier Mosquito Control District
Lisa Kozlowski, Community Health Partners
Jennifer Laderer, Chico’s FAS
Melissa Lamont, Naples Therapeutic Riding Center
Cindy Learned, Naples Botanical Garden
Richard LeBer, Harry Chapin Food Bank
J. Christopher Lombardo, Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A.
Casey Lucius, Moorings Park
Daniel McDermott, Naples Daily News
Douglas Meschko, Land Solutions Inc.
Ashley Mirakian, Artis-Naples
Christopher Mitchell, J.R. Evans Engineering, P.A.
Meredith Nassif Doupé, Florida Southwestern State College Foundation
Michael Nichols, Naples Fire-Rescue Department
Renee Porter-Medley, Key Private Bank
Patricia Rambosk, City of Naples
Bill Rice, Florida Gulf Coast University
Bethany Sawyer, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce
Asif Syed, 21 Spices By Chef Asif
Heather Tice, First Florida Integrity Bank
Michael Traficante, Grant Fridkin Pearson, P.A.
Mindy Truitt, Arthrex
Jacob Winge, Sandalwood Village
Scott Woodcock, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Larisa Zadorecky, Moorings Park
The LCF Board of Directors congratulates the following GAIN 2019 Class members:
CHAIR: Meredith McLean, Humane Society Naples
CO-CHAIR: Andres Paz, Univision SWFL
VICE CHAIR: Allison Durian, Naples Children & Education Foundation
Kate Albers, Arthrex
John Brown, Moran Edwards Asset Management Group
Kelsey Browne, Brown & Brown of Southwest Florida
Matthew Catoe, Collier County Board of County Commissioners
Courtney Chaipel Pugh, Quarles & Brady LLP
Leroy Christiansen, Gulfshore Insurance Agency
Lauren Cox, Waterside Shops
Jessica Dang, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County
Jason Ensor, Naples Community Hospital
Peter Falisi, Two Guys Kitchen & Catering
Rafael J. Feliciano, Food Idea Group Inc.
Leonardo Gianfranco Fiorini, ACI Worldwide
Amanda Goebel, Halstatt, LLC
Christopher Goldhorn, Collier County Sheriff’s Office
Tahnee Guite, Physicians Regional Medical Center
Jeffrey Haut, Vernon Litigation Group
Hasan Kajtezovic, Arthrex, Inc
Keira Lucas, Collier Mosquito Control District
Matt Meyers, William Raveis Real Estate, Matt Meyers, LLC
Chrissie Missal, Grace Place for Children and Families
Alina Mizerniuc, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP
Charlotte O’Bryon,City of Naples
Kristin Peras, Champions For Learning
Monica Perez, Hope for Haiti
Lemay Perez, Collier County
Paulina Perez, Barron Collier Companies
Sara Perkins, Naples Global Advisors
Deanna Elizabeth Peterson, Guadalupe Center
Maria Plata, The Immokalee Foundation
Parker Poage, NewsBank
Michael Rubenstein, BNY Mellon Wealth Management
Jonathan Saunders, J.P. Morgan Private Bank
Emily Schaefer, Collier County Public Schools
Jessica Siefer, David Lawrence Center
Michael Sneeringer, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP
Rachel Stone, Artis-Naples
Lindsey Thoman, Avow Hospice and Palliative Care
Jordan Tompkins, Merrill Lynch
Renee Waller, Naples Botanical Garden
Naomi Weathers, United Way of Collier County
Denise Williams, HBKS Wealth Advisors
Brandon Yarusi, Collier Enterprises
To learn more about the Leadership Collier Foundation contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“I want to work in government for the rest of my life” – A Student’s Reflection on Local Job Shadowing
AUTHOR: NICOLAS NORIEGA OLAZABA
Florida is to me still a relatively unexplored area. Having moved here from Texas just half a year ago, I thought that, not only adjusting, but also finding meaningful activities to partake in would be very difficult. Despite all this, I was able to shadow for Mr. Jamie French from the Growth Management Department of Collier County on February 20th, 2018, thanks to the great initiative by the Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF).
This was an experience of unparalleled benefit for me because, for the first time, I was able to learn, up close, about the operation of our government at the local level. So many things which we often don’t think about, going from the building of public areas to the enforcement of building codes in homes and businesses, all depend on this one local department.
I was able to listen to Mr. French and his colleagues discussing the building of a park area around Immokalee, and the challenges that this would present, such as having to figure out what the most optimal use of the land dug up during construction would be. Afterward, I was given a small tour of the department, seeing engineers and bureaucrats at their job. I was even able to see the place from which traffic is monitored and managed; not something you see every day!
This wasn’t the only thing that the LCF and Naples Chamber did for me. I was also given the opportunity to attend several local conferences on economic development and other such topics. These were not just incredibly informative, but they also provided me with the opportunity to network with local professionals working in a wide range of fields. I believe that all of these initiatives, which have also benefited other local youth, are important because they allow participants to become connected to their community and possibly start thinking about what career they wish to pursue in the future.
To participate in a shadow day as a business or a student contact Director of Work-Based Learning, Alex Breault today!
Leadership Florida President Wendy Spencer to deliver keynote address at Naples Chamber 2019 Annual Meeting
Naples, FL (April 23, 2019) —The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce announced today that Wendy Spencer, Leadership Florida president and CEO, will deliver the keynote address at the 2019 Annual Meeting: “Waves of Change” on May 16 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. The evening will celebrate the year’s accomplishments and future initiatives of the Naples Chamber with more than 400 Southwest Florida community leaders.
Prior to Leadership Florida, Spencer served a five-year term as the chief executive officer at Corporation for National and Community Service, a $1.1 billion federal agency that runs AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and the Social Innovation Fund. From 2003-2012, she served Governors Rick Scott, Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush as the CEO of the Florida Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism, commonly known as Volunteer Florida.
Spencer is often recognized for her leadership in the volunteer sector. In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Spencer to the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. She was honored in 2013 as the NonProfit Times Top 50 Leader, and in 2016 received nationwide recognition as Influencer in Aging by Public Broadcasting Service’s Next Avenue program.
“We are honored to have Wendy Spencer speak at this year’s annual meeting. Her deep understanding of 21st century leadership and her dedication to Florida’s success will set the tone for our ‘Waves of Change’ themed event,” said Michael Dalby, president and CEO of the Naples Chamber. “Her experience in collective change will encourage our attendees to lead the future in Collier County.”
The annual meeting will be held from 5:30 p.m. – 8: 30 p.m. on May 16, 2019 at The Ritz Carlton Golf Resort, 2600 Tiburon Dr, Naples, FL 34109. To register for the event or to learn more about the 2019 Annual Meeting visit www.napleschamber.org/annualmeeting.
The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Collier County Commissioners selected Humane Society Naples as the Business of the Month for April 2019.
Each month, the award is presented to an organization that has enhanced the community through financial, volunteer and active involvement in organizations and programs that creates a better quality of life for all citizens in Collier County.
The Board of Collier County Commissioners and Bethany Sawyer, director of membership at The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, presented Sarah Baeckler Davis, executive director, with a commemorative plaque at the April 9, 2019 County Commission meeting.
Established in 1906, the mission of Humane Society Naples is to shelter animals in times of need, locate life-long homes and promote responsible pet ownership through education, legislation and sterilization. In 2010 they celebrated the grand opening of a $4.5 million state-of-the-art shelter and adoption center. In 2018, the Humane Society celebrated its 100,000th adoption and this year, the organization plans to launch a new satellite adoption center in North Naples and a mobile veterinary clinic serving the entire community.
Humane Society Naples also provides numerous outreach programs at schools and businesses to promote responsible pet ownership, including pet sterilization and the veterinary clinic offers a low or no-cost pet sterilization for low-income pet owners.
This year the organization’s goal is to provide rescue, shelter, and adoption services to more than 3,000 orphaned pets in the community. The Humane Society partners with animal control agencies to review monthly statistics to determine how to work together to reduce unnecessary euthanasia of adoptable pets in Southwest Florida.
Dr. Kamela Patton (LC '12)
When it was time to honor a Leadership Collier Foundation alumnus with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award, our winner, Collier County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton, stood out for her commitment to the entire Collier County community and her dedication to ensuring its future is bright thanks to its future residents, employees and leaders.
The award is presented each year to an individual who fulfills the mission of the Leadership Collier Foundation through his or her continued education and work toward community solutions in the public interest. Dr. Patton fit the bill perfectly, according to Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Michael Dalby.
“We’re looking for those who have led significant, impactful efforts, embodying the LCF tagline: Be Informed, Be Engaged and Be the Difference,” Dalby says. “This year, in light of Dr. Patton’s game-changing leadership in public education and CCPS’s annual participation in our LCF programs, we felt Kam was most deserving of this recognition.”
Past recipients of the LCF Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award are Michael McComas, CJ Hueston, Ted Soliday, James French, Don York, Ed McNamara, Bud Hornbeck, Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, Carlton Case, Jeff Fridkin, Alan Reynolds, Fred Thomas, Terri Douglas, Barbara Berry, Scott Salley, Tom Schneider, Russell Budd, Patrick O’Connor, Paul Marinelli, Dave Weston, Donna MacNiven, Bart Zino, George Drobinski, Jan Kantor, and Patrick Neale.
Dr. Patton is a Leadership Collier Class of 2012 graduate and has continued to give back to LCF in a variety of ways, including serving on the LCF Board of Advisors from 2012-2015, returning to speak to LCF and GAIN classes, and having the school district support one staff member to complete the LCF and GAIN programs each year.
Patton was surprised with the award recently--the same way her own Golden Apple Award-winning teachers have received their awards. She was formally honored at the Leadership Collier and Growing Associates in Naples Class of 2019 graduation ceremony on Thursday, April 18, 2019.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is far from the only honor Dr. Patton has received during her eight-year leadership of CCPS. She has been named Superintendent of the Year by several statewide education associations and received honors from diverse organizations including the NAACP, Boys & Girls Club, Salvation Army, and several Southwest Florida publications’ “who’s who” lists.
But, says Dr. Patton, the Distinguished Alumni Award “is very special because this is a special community. You’re very honored when you’re recognized by a group that has so many distinguished alumni. The LCF family is made up of so many leaders and people who are so passionate about this community.”
In fact, ensuring she joined a Leadership Collier class was one of the first things Dr. Patton did when she moved from her previous role at Miami-Dade County Public Schools. “The first call I made was to get into this program,” Patton said.
Dr. Patton’s tenure has focused on connecting the community with the district and its diverse community of 48,000 students and 7,000 teachers. Many of these connections have come from Patton’s involvement with LCF and its alumni from her class and others.
“I’m grateful that Leadership Collier has directly connected me to this community,” she says. Of her status as an LCF graduate, Patton says it creates an automatic connection with more leaders in Collier County than her role as superintendent could have otherwise.
“You don’t even have to know that person to know you have a connection (due to LCF),” Patton says. “The community support is just unprecedented.”
Those LCF connections have become integral as the district begins working toward its new goal to ensure every student has a plan for “college, career, and life.”
Programs geared toward ensuring students are ready for the post-high-school world, no matter where it takes them, include a robust internship program for high school students, mentoring programs for students interested in trades, and the Future Ready Collier program.
Supported by the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, Future Ready Collier is a “network of organizations, businesses, schools and community members working to ensure every child is ready for kindergarten and every young person enters adulthood with a vision and plan to accomplish that vision.”
LCF even came to the rescue before and after Hurricane Irma when the school district turned into the county’s sheltering system, ultimately providing shelter for 17,000 people at 28 buildings. Alumni helped connect the district with “whatever we needed.”
Many residents would be surprised to learn some of the unique challenges the school district faces, including a population where 66 percent of students are provided free or reduced-price lunch, 103 languages and dialects are spoken, and more than 60 percent of students are considered economically disadvantaged.
Despite these and other hurdles, CCPS has excelled under Dr. Patton’s leadership and is now ranked third of 67 county school districts in Florida – up from number 33 just a few years ago. The graduation rate has also increased to 92 percent, up nearly 20 percent from seven years ago.
Dr. Patton credits the strides CCPS has made with “laserlike focus on individual students,” as well as looking at each student as a whole person rather than simply a set of grades and test scores. “Academics will catch up because they know we care about them,” she says.
As part of the district’s three-year strategic plan, a new focus on social-emotional wellness includes advisory boards for students to provide district leaders their feedback on programs and new ideas; community-building events such as school movie nights and nights at the fair for CCPS employees and their families; time during the day for students to collect their thoughts and organize their days; and even “buddy benches” for students to extend an offer of friendship to someone new.
Ultimately, Dr. Patton says, the district’s efforts to prepare students should mean students feel confident coming out of school and into whatever life they choose ready to become the next generation of leaders in Collier County.
“When we shake their hands on the graduation stage and ask our kids, ‘What’s your pathway?’ they know their answer,” says Dr. Patton.
Thank you for your leadership in our community, Dr. Patton!