It’s been nearly three years since I joined leaders from across the state in Connect Florida, a program of Leadership Florida, and it was one of the most incredible professional development opportunities of my career. Connect Florida is more than just leadership training, market insights and community engagement – it is a collaborative group of individuals who want to change their cities and collectively make a difference for our entire state.
Every year, I have a chance to reconnect with the inspiring and talented people during the Leadership Florida Annual Meeting. The sense of community, support and energy that this group creates is like a family of epic proportions!
This year’s annual meeting was especially meaningful as we celebrated the retirement of Wendy Walker – longtime CEO and tireless advocate for our program. Wendy was also a very near and dear friend of our agency founder, Deanne Roberts. As stories of Wendy’s leadership were shared, cherished and celebrated this weekend, I couldn’t help but think how proud and happy Deanne would be for her friend as she embarks on the newest chapter of her life.
Deanne once said, “I believe it’s our collective legacy as leaders to support others as they take big―and sometimes scary―leaps for our community.” We are grateful for the legacy Wendy built to propel so many communities and leaders across our state.
It is an honor to be part of this incredible group of leaders. I am confident my fellow Connect Florida alumni will build on the foundation provided for us and continue to blaze the trails ahead for our future.