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Leadership Development Institute selects 29 for class of 2023

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  • | 5:00 p.m. May 23, 2023
The Gulf Coast Community Foundation Leadership Development Institute class of 2023.
The Gulf Coast Community Foundation Leadership Development Institute class of 2023.
Courtesy photo
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With 29 participants from across the region, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation has introduced its Leadership Institute Class of 2023. The 17th annual program provides leadership training designed to identify, develop and connect a diverse and growing group of aspiring community leaders. 

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

The class of 2023 includes:

  • Jasmine Akins, CAN Community Health
  • Charlene Altenhain, The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center
  • Uzi Baram, New College
  • 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, 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, Sarasota Ballet
  • Kiarra Womack, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation
  • Earl Young, Take Stock in Children/Booker Promise
  • Lisa Zachary, SunCoast Blood Centers

Over 16 years, some 400 people have completed the leadership training and many continue to work together on civic initiatives and community improvement projects. More information about the program is available at


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