LCF Alumni Inspiration - December 2019
Gerald “Jerry” Godshaw
Leadership Collier Foundation Board Member
Jerry Godshaw, a retired economist who was a partner with Arthur Andersen and then Deloitte, is one of the more recently added board members for Leadership Collier Foundation. A Greater Naples Leadership (GNL) graduate of Class #20, Jerry helps to bring collaboration between the GNL and LCF organizations.
“I joined the board as an opportunity for GNL and LCF to work together more and do things jointly, cooperating, such as with volunteering” said Jerry, “and so our organizations can learn from each other.”
Jerry also is active in Greater Naples Leadership serving as Chair of the Community Services Committee and on the GNL Board.
He relocated to Naples approximately 10 years ago, and as GNL programs are structured more for those who have retired or are nearing retirement, his GNL class experience enabled him to learn more about his new home community and contribute to making Naples an even better place to live and work. Jerry now serves on the Collier County Advisory Committee on Productivity as well as the Advisory Committee on Mental Health and Addiction.
“One of the things that GNL did is alerted me to certain things in Collier County where I could make a difference, such as mental health and addiction, he says. “I was surprised to find out what a high percentage of the inmate population of the county jail have severe mental illness and substance abuse.”
Jerry describes the necessity of treating these inmates to reduce the rate of recidivism, to help them manage their illness and contribute to our community. While we’re fortunate for all the cooperation between involved entities, he says that unfortunately our level of resources is currently lacking.
Jerry also noted that another critical issue in Collier County is affordable/workforce housing. He believes housing affects every one of us in our community and government should play a more active role in this and in most areas of social services.
How can LCF and GNL alumni make a difference? “We can help find housing for employees, encourage that builders and developers receive proper incentives, and that government look at densities,” he advises. “Put pressure on our elected officials, engage other leaders and residents in the community. More diversity in our neighborhoods can help improve our community.”
Jerry would like to see a more actively engaged, civic and civil conversation in the County. More progress could be made, he says, if more people got involved civically and philanthropically in the community, including more seniors.
“Not every community can say they have what we have in terms of leadership development. If we don’t take care of our environment and our social issues, we’ll lose the edge that makes Naples a great place to live.”