Who We Are
Leadership Charlotte is a program created by the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce to elevate and educate community leaders as they navigate the complexities of government, social services, business, and education in Charlotte County, Florida.
Each year, the class chooses a cause or project that would improve or enhance the quality of life for our community.
Classes have used their time and talents in many ways. They built a park (1992), started a mentoring program (1991), added to the animal shelter, created Junior Leadership Charlotte (1993) for High School Juniors, painted and landscaped a Museum (1994), added welcome signs to our community (1997), opened the Teacher Supply Depot (2004), raised funds for non-profits who help homeless school children (2008), upgraded the 211 Referral Number for County Services (2005), supported youth music (2010), fundraised for youth sports (2017 & 2014), created a book bus to improve children's literacy (2019), supported student art (2018).
Here’s some of what people have to say about their experience with the Leadership Charlotte Program:
“Having lived, worked as a realtor and played in the Charlotte County area since 2006, I had no idea of the true jewel our area is! The time spent with my classmates has been so special. I’ve developed relationships I will cherish for years to come. I’ve learned what I’m not particularly good at. My comfort level was stretched upon occasion, interacting with so many different personalities demands patience and understanding of others perspective. Leadership opens eyes to the need for non-profits!” Rise’ Wells, 2018
“I have been living in Charlotte County for 26 years and thought I knew everything. Leadership Charlotte gave me the opportunity to gain a much deeper understanding about the different industries that are engines of our community. Beyond that, it gave me the opportunity to create a remarkable friendship with other leaders in the community. I am proud and honored to be part of Leadership Charlotte.” Faiza Kedir, 2014
“If you think you know everything there is to know about Charlotte County, you are still missing out! Leadership Charlotte is the best vehicle to gain a deeper understanding about the different industries that complete the Charlotte County business community. Beyond that, it provides a remarkable opportunity to meet and network with other business leaders. Better Yet, it’s a great way to make new friends!” Stephanie Kissinger, 2013
“If you doubt the impact Leadership Charlotte will have on you personally for any reason, I recommend asking any LC Graduate. I know everyone will tell you the experience was priceless, both in time and cost. Do not wait until you have time, make the time.” Tracy G. Lehn, 2008
“Leadership Charlotte is the most rewarding program that I have ever been associated with. The new friends, the camaraderie, the honor of being part of this has really given me a more defined reason for being in Charlotte County. I wish it could go on forever.” Matt Nemec, 2004
“Leadership Charlotte has been an amazing experience starting from that first day at SimSoc. Coming into this, I didn’t envision all I would gain from the program; it truly is a behind-the-scenes tour of everything there is to know about Charlotte County. Through the program, I have grown professionally as well as personally and have created remarkable friendships at the same time. I am proud and honored to be a part of Leadership Charlotte and its Alumni.” Kelly Riley, 2013
“After living in Charlotte County for over 40 years I thought I knew everything about our community. What I learned from Leadership Charlotte was that I only knew the big picture. Leadership exposed me to the important details about our community — those details that include the people of our community, the resources of our community and the absolute beauty of our community that we tend to take for granted. It was truly an eye opening experience that I will always remember.” Lane Diedrick, 2000
“Leadership Charlotte is a life-changing experience that provides the opportunity to form relationships that will endure long after graduation.” Mark Martella, Esq., 2008
“I only wish I had participated sooner. I kept putting it off thinking I would have more time when I wasn’t so new and so busy. Little did I know that the time spent learning about Charlotte County and developing relationships with classmates and other Leadership Charlotte graduates would be returned to me many times over.” Lola Casey, 1993
“Kudos to the Chamber for its ongoing commitment to a leadership program, one that gave me the opportunity to learn so much about the community and its people. The importance of this education was made even clearer in the post-hurricane climate in Charlotte County.” Connie Thrasher, 2005
“I was actually quite amazed at the quality of the programs for each Leadership Charlotte Day event. The local dignitaries and community leaders who gave up their time to share their experiences and knowledge of our County were truly impressive!” Mary A. Byrski, 2005