2022 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute Class announced

24 participants selected for program

Image courtesy Gulf Coast Community Foundation

The Gulf Coast Community Foundation has selected 24 participants from across the region for its 2022 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute, the nonprofit announced this week.

Through the annual initiative, the Foundation “provides intensive, high-quality leadership training designed to identify, develop, and connect a diverse and growing group of aspiring community leaders,” a news release explains.

Class members will take part in seven training sessions from May through June, “conducted by the acclaimed Leadership Development Institute of Eckerd College,” the release adds. “Gulf Coast 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 release points out.

The 24 participants selected for the 2022 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute are as follows:

  • Sara Brunow, Muriel O’Neil Education & Engagement director, Asolo Repertory Theatre.
  • Jennifer Bushinger-Ortiz, chief philanthropy officer, Loveland Center Inc.
  • Shelley Cairo, financial adviser-private client group, Truist Investment Services Inc.
  • Robyn Citrin, board trustee and president, Hermitage Artist Retreat.
  • Kelly M. Defebo, director of sales, Visit Sarasota County.
  • Esther Dickmann, client and clinical services manager, Samaritan Counseling Services of the Gulf Coast.
  • Kelly Duyn, assistant director of education & community engagement, Venice Theatre.
  • Cintia Elenstar, program director, UnidosNow.
  • Jonathan Evans, executive director, Healthy Teens Coalition of Manatee Co. Inc.
  • Debbie Frank, program director, Friends of Boca Grande Community Center.
  • Michelle Frau, events and membership administrator, Ringling College Library Association.
  • Jill Gomes, director of quality, risk & compliance, CenterPlace Health.
  • Amy Helms, human resources manager, Senior Friendship Centers.
  • Scott Hinckley, account director, Allegiance Group.
  • Ben Jewell-Plocher, education director, Embracing Our Differences.
  • Ashley Klearman, vice president of development, Hunters Point Pearl Homes and Marina.
  • Heather Koester, president and business consulting strategist, Koester Consulting Group.
  • Michael “Mike” McLaughlin, senior vice president for horticulture, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
  • Laura Randall, senior director of development, Visible Men Academy.
  • Travis Ray, associate managing director, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe.
  • Clara Reynardus de Villanueva, director of development, Sarasota-Manatee campus and Latino Scholarship Program, University of South Florida.
  • Mary Smedley, managing broker, Michael Saunders & Co., Englewood/Boca Grande offices.
  • Amanda Sweet, event coordinator, Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy.
  • Kayden Jeanne Stephen Taylor, HOPWA housing coordinator, CAN Community Health.

This is the 14th year that the Gulf Coast Community Foundation has offered the Gulf Coast Leadership Institute, the release notes. In all, more than 300 community members have completed the training provided through this leadership-development initiative, the release says. “Many continue to work together on civic initiatives and community-improvement projects, as well as participate in periodic learning and reunion opportunities offered to Gulf Coast Leadership Institute alumni,” the release adds.

For more information on the program, visit https://www.gulfcoastcf.org/gcli.