Inaugural Virginia B. Toulmin Leadership Scholarship awarded in honor of Selby Gardens CEO Rominiecki

Applications due by March 24

Virginia B. Toulmin. Contributed photo

On Feb. 2, the staff of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens announced that it is the recipient of the inaugural Virginia B. Toulmin Leadership Scholarship, “awarded in honor of and in partnership with Selby Gardens President and CEO Jennifer O. Rominiecki, who will serve as the scholarship’s first mentor.”

A news release explains, “The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation envisions a world in which all people have equal opportunity to fulfill their potential and succeed in life. The Foundation reflects the legacy of its namesake, the late Sarasota-area philanthropist who made a lasting impact on numerous entities and charitable endeavors.”

The release adds that the scholarship “will provide a pathway for successful female leadership in the business and nonprofit world by providing mentorship, opportunities to observe leadership in action, and financial support to high-achieving juniors or seniors pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Sarasota, Manatee or Charlotte counties and holding a minimum GPA of 3.5.”

“Mentorship is vital to the success of future leaders,” Rominiecki said in the release. “I am honored to be the inaugural mentor for the Virginia B. Toulmin Leadership Scholarship and to be presented with the opportunity to guide, motivate, and inspire, women seeking careers in the business and non-profit sector,” she added.

“The scholarship will be managed by Selby Gardens with an initial gift of $25,000,” the release continues.

“Through Virginia’s legacy, we invest in causes that she — and we — believe in and most importantly trust in,” said lead Toulmin Trustee William S. Villafranco in the release. “Selby Gardens is one of those causes.”

He also noted, “Virginia was a strong woman of few words but what she did speak of was honesty and integrity.” He added, “During one of our initial meetings, I will never forget something she shared with me — four elements of trust that are important both individually and collectively: competency, consistency, integrity and compassion. We see those four elements exemplified by Jennifer and her work and could not imagine a better inaugural role model.”

The application deadline is March 24, with three finalists to be selected in April and the scholarship to be awarded in May, the release points out.

The 2024-25 scholarship recipient will have the opportunity to be appointed to Selby Gardens’ Advisory Committee “to observe Rominiecki in action, participate with local community, scientific and business leaders, and receive a one-year membership to Selby Gardens,” the release adds.

To apply for the Virginia B. Toulmin Leadership Scholarship, visit SELBY.ORG.