AMANDA BEIGHTS, SENIOR DIRECTOR, LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS
The Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF), of the Greater Naples Chamber, held its graduation of the Youth Leadership Collier (YLC) program on Friday, June 18, 2021 at The Players Club & Spa. Sarah Geroy (YLC '13) was honored with the 2021 Youth Leadership Collier Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award. The award was established to honor Donna MacNiven, founder of Youth Leadership Collier, and to recognize a Youth Leadership Collier Alumnus that exemplifies leadership through their community involvement and professional achievements.
The mission of YLC is to develop ethical leaders committed to active community involvement. Reaching over 500 students to date, Youth Leadership Collier (YLC) empowers students to become effective leaders through hands on experiences and field work, while encouraging students to begin their careers and community leadership in Collier County.
The LCF Board of Directors congratulates the graduates of the Youth Leadership Collier Class of 2021:
What does your role entail at the Supervisor of Elections Office?
As Chief Deputy Supervisor of Elections, I am tasked with overall management of the office from the administrative side – budget, human resources, office administration, to the elections side where I oversee various departments. Together we coordinate and conduct successful elections while ensuring the security and integrity of the voting process.
How did Leadership Collier help you as a leader to be part of building a stronger Collier County?
I initially participated in the Associate Leadership Collier (formerly GAIN) Spring Class of 2010, and after completion just knew that I wanted to participate in Leadership Collier. Leadership Collier introduced me to so many different aspects of Collier County and truly instilled a passion and desire in me to want to help and give back to our community.
What advice would you provide other classmates on how to stay engaged and the importance of doing so?
Stay involved and stay engaged! Try to meet monthly – even if it’s via Zoom. Your LC Classmates are your friends for life. Keep in touch with them and rely on each other. Get your class email list from Amanda Beights and use it!
How do you stay engaged with your class?
"The Silvers" (LC’14 – "the Class that Outshines the Best") truly are the BEST class! We’ve held monthly socials, consistently, for over six years now and have always had great turnout – some of us even take vacations together! I serve as our Class Champion so it’s truly important to me to keep our class connected. We hold a social on the third Thursday of each month. At the beginning of each year I send an email to our class with our social dates and then I ask if anyone would like to host a social in their home. For the past several years we’ve “booked” the entire year of socials within a week of me sending the email! I, of course, send reminders each month and get headcounts for the hosts, etc. It has been an easy and effective way to stay connected!
The upcoming Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF) Alumni Association "Leadership Lunch" will focus on the growing challenge of incivility in our society. Our hope is that this event will be an important step in elevating and prioritizing a community conversation on civility.
By Michael Wynn
President of Sunshine Ace Hardware
Past chairman of the Leadership Collier Foundation.
Why the Leadership Collier Foundation? For almost 30 years, the LCF has been the champion for leadership development in our county. We have promoted respectful advocacy as part of our curriculum. We have practiced civility in our public policy initiatives through our umbrella organization, the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. We have invested in programs to continually educate our alumni so that they have informed opinions on the issues that matter most to our community.
Who better to take on the challenge of promoting civil discourse and leadership?
It used to be that you could safely debate anything, as long as you didn’t talk about politics or religion. Now, we seem to have arrived at a point where everything is politicized. As a result, we have seen a shift in recent years, where many people speak primarily to those they already agree with. This reinforces existing opinions and ultimately limits the ability to grow and learn.
Unfortunately, this mindset permeates our national politics at a time when we are facing critical decisions for our country’s future. Debate seems to be a formality versus a necessary foundation for uncovering ideas that lead to the best solution.
Many seem to have forgotten that at its core, leadership is influence. However, you cannot influence opinions if you don’t take time to listen to understand the other side. Too often, we listen only so we can reply with a more convincing argument. In addition, a good friend often reminds me that “you cannot influence and antagonize at the same time.” Too many have forgotten that ageless wisdom.
So where do we start?
The Leadership Collier Foundation believes the path starts with self-reflection and changing our own behavior.
Do we truly listen to understand, and do we assume good intentions from others, or do we label others and dismiss their input?
Do we share and promote information that is at its core divisive and condescending?
Through our example, we can help people disagree without being disagreeable.
We understand that our civility work might be a heavy lift. Our society thrives on quick validation and reinforcement of long-held viewpoints. We often fail to separate people from the problem or issue, which can lead to decisions based on personal animosities rather than on the facts that support the best solution. We need to be aware that disagreement and hate are not the same thing.
In their article “The Meaning of Civility,” Heidi and Guy Burgess discuss the fact that many differing interests divide our society. They acknowledge that there will be a long series of confrontations over moral and social issues and “often these issues will have an irreducible win-lose character and, hence, not be amenable to consensus resolution. While continuing confrontation is inevitable, the enormous destructiveness which commonly accompanies these confrontations is not.”
The growing lack of civility impacts all of us. It leads to increased incidents of violence and limits honest debate that results in the best solutions.
It’s time for all of us to make civil discourse a priority. We look forward to continuing this conversation in the months ahead and invite you to contact Amanda Beights, Amanda@napleschamber.org, at the Leadership Collier Foundation to learn more.
About the event:
In Florida's Capital City, The Village Square has built bridges across color, creed and ideology for a decade and a half. As the national division has accelerated, they're increasingly seen as both a thought leader and practical model in addressing the divisions we're wrestling with in hometowns across the country.
Village Square Founder & CEO Liz Joyner will offer a short-course in their sometimes counter intuitive lessons learned, whether you're wanting to have a conversation with a friend who disagrees with you, launch a bridge-building effort at work or just sleep better at night. A good news tickler: she says it's easier to address that you'd think, and that hometowns are just the place to start.
Tony McClure (LC ‘15)
Tony McClure, a partner in the litigation department at the law firm of Porter Wright, hales from Ohio. When he relocated with his family to Naples in 2012, not only was he looking to make his mark professionally in his new hometown, he was also searching for opportunities to have an impact and connect with like-minded people.
Leadership Collier was the perfect fit for his pursuits, and the friendships and opportunities that followed have fulfilled him in ways he never imagined were possible when he started the program in 2015.
For Tony, Leadership Collier IS community. He shares, “It’s a group of people from all types of industries and backgrounds coming together to learn more about Collier County and to learn more about each other. That’s what community is all about.”
Tony was hooked from the very first session, and the rewards just kept coming. He said, “The entire day was aimed at allowing us to get to know each other better. By the end of the day, I already had the beginning of so many good friendships – which I still have to this day.”
Tony, whose son has special needs, quickly found a home to apply his leadership skills, passion for community and love for his son, when he joined the Board of Directors for Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC) in 2015. His son benefits from their therapeutic horseback riding lessons.
Tony is also finding ways to give back to the next generation and the LCF Alumni Association through the Leadership Collier Mentor Program, which pairs Youth Leadership Collier participants with GAIN and Leadership Collier alumni working in an industry where the mentee has an interest. He also serves on the Public Policy Committee of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Pro Bono Committee for the 20th Judicial District of Florida.
Tony’s advice to fellow alumni, “Use those friendships you’ve made and build on them. These are people with whom you’ve shared countless memories. Accept this gift and continue to build those great relationships. Your life will be richer for it.”
In addition to these fulfilling leadership opportunities that have come his way as a result of his LC experience, Tony shares that some of his best friends are LCF alumni – two of whom recently married and now have a child. Talk about a richer life?!
Now President of the NTRC Board, this month Tony was invited to share his leadership expertise on board development at the LCF Get Involved Collier Volunteer Expo. Never one to shy away from an opportunity to connect his LCF friends and his passion for special needs, Tony invites alumni to join him in support of NTRC’s signature fundraiser, The Bootstrap Boogie Barn Dance, on November 9th.
The Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF) of the Greater Naples Chamber announces the Leadership Collier Class of 2020. The class began their program with a kick-off celebration at 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19 at The Naples Players.
Leadership Collier was formed by the Naples Chamber in 1988 to develop a network of informed citizens prepared to assume leadership roles in our community. The Chamber believes knowledge is a key element and prime motivator of leadership. Consequently, the primary objective of Leadership Collier is to educate local business leaders about the societal and economic challenges facing the community today.
The nine-month program includes 10 full-day sessions. Over the course of 10 sessions participants will fully explore local government, education, economic development, agriculture, arts and more.
“Congratulations to the Leadership Collier Class of 2020 as they embark on one of the most rewarding and impactful experiences of their professional careers,” said Chief Stephanie Spell, LCF Board Chairwoman. “While there are so many reasons why our Collier County community is unique and very special, I know for sure that Leadership Collier graduates contribute significantly to our exceptional quality of life here.”
The LCF Board of Directors congratulates the following class members of Leadership Collier 2020:
Chair: Chief Tabatha Butcher, Collier County Emergency Medical Services
First Vice Chair: Brian Goguen, Barron Collier Companies
Second Vice Chair: Mary Beth Geier, Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
Patrick J. Bimonte, Arthrex, Inc.
Julie Blauman, Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida
Samantha Bloom, Oh Snap Media
Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce
Blase Ciabaton, Naples Print Source
Amy Clayton, Fifth Third Bank
Kristen Coury, Gulfshore Playhouse
Jaime Crossan-DeBres, Community Health Partners
Helena Dabrowski, Sunshine Ace Hardware
Tracy Duhaney, Unidine Corporation at Moorings Park
Steven Foster, Wells Fargo Private Bank
Brian Galligan, The Naples Botanical Garden
Bill Grigsby, Wasmer, Schroeder & Co.
Mark Hanke, Greater Naples YMCA
Matthew Johnson, Aviance Capital Partners
Peter Johnson, St. Matthew’s House
Marianne Lambertson, Grace Place for Children & Families
Claudine Leger-Wetzel, Stock Development
Tiffany Lehman, Insurance Source of Naples
Stephanie Lucarelli, The State of Florida
Todd Lyon, NCH Healthcare System
Jessica Manchette, Champions for Learning
Matthew McLean, Collier County, Growth Management Department
Robert Mirakian, United Way of Collier County
Michael Moore, Vanderbilt Beach Resort/Turtle Club Restaurant
Denise Murphy, The Players Club & Spa
Tovah Nadassky, First Florida Integrity Bank
Chad Oliver, Collier County School District
Karie Partington, Collier County Sheriff’s Office
Tony Pernas, Big Cypress National Preserve
Trish Robertson, Supervisor of Elections
Jordan Scardigno, Moorings Park at Grey Oaks
Lorna Scharlacken, Legacy Law Unlimited PLLC
Jennifer Schell, Physicians Regional Healthcare System
Michael Searcy, Searcy Financial Services, Inc.
Jamie Thompson, Barron Collier Companies
Ali Mete Timur, Mekpa N.A. Inc.
Yadira Vintimilla, BMO Wealth Management
Stephanie Wardein, Lee Health
Ken Warriner, City of Naples Airport Authority
Beth Wolff, Neurology Center, Brian D. Wolff, M.D., P.A.
Michelle Zamniak, Hodges University
Click here to learn more about the Leadership Collier Foundation and its programs.