VENICE, FL (May 3, 2022) – Gulf Coast Community Foundation has selected 24 participants from across the region for its 2022 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute. Through this 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.
Class members will take part in seven training sessions from May through June conducted by the acclaimed Leadership Development Institute of Eckerd College. 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 24 participants selected for the 2022 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute are:
• Sara Brunow, Muriel O’Neil Education & Engagement Director, Asolo Repertory Theatre
• Jennifer Bushinger-Ortiz, Chief Philanthropy Officer, Loveland Center, Inc.
• Shelley Cairo, Financial Advisor-Private Client Group, Truist Investment Services, Inc.
• Robyn Citrin, Board Trustee/President, Hermitage Artist Retreat
• Kelly M. Defebo, CMP, 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, CFRE, Account Director, Allegiance Group
• Ben Jewell-Plocher, Education Director, Embracing Our Differences
• Ashley Klearman, VP of Development, Hunters Point Pearl Homes and Marina
• Heather Koester, President/Business Consulting Strategist, Koester Consulting Group
• Michael (Mike) McLaughlin, Senior Vice President for Horticulture, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
• Laura Randall, CFRE, 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 Gulf Coast Community Foundation has offered the Gulf Coast Leadership Institute. In all, over 300 community members have completed the training provided through this leadership-development initiative. 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.
For more information on the program, visit https://www.gulfcoastcf.org/gcli.
# # #
About Gulf Coast Community Foundation
For more than 25 years, together with our donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation has transformed our region through bold and proactive philanthropy. Gulf Coast is a public charity that was created in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, we have become the philanthropic home of over 950 families, individuals, businesses, and organizations that have established charitable funds here. Together, we have invested over $460 million in grants in the areas of health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Learn more at GulfCoastCF.org.