Leadership St. Pete (LSP) recently announced the graduation of the most diverse class in its 50-year history.
A ceremony was held June 25 at the St. Petersburg Coliseum, with more than 150 guests in attendance. Sponsored by the Leadership St. Pete Alumni Association and Northwestern Mutual, the event also featured the LSP Class of 2020, who could not have an in-person ceremony due to Covid-19. Last year’s LSP Chair Madeline McCarthy was instrumental in making the event possible, and it marked the first time two LSP classes joined in a combined celebration.
On the night of graduation, Chair Lucinda Grant said she told them “how much they had sparked,” and that they are an “inspiration to the community.” She went on to call them “courageous” before getting emotional describing the class she oversaw.
“They were a group that encouraged each other, they pushed each other, and they touched each other,” Grant said.
As one of the oldest leadership programs in America and a division of the St Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce , LSP is an intensive, interactive six-month experience designed to promote and enhance community leadership through an in-depth introduction to social, economic, business and political issues in the St. Petersburg area.
The stated mission of LSP is to identify, recruit and develop leaders who represent the diversity of the city and who will assume future leadership roles in the community.
This year’s legacy project was the renovation of WestCare’s Mustard Seed Inn. Every year, LSP conducts a class project to provide planning, fundraising, and labor to advance a local nonprofit. Larry McArthur, Vice President of WestCare Gulf Coast Florida, called the improvements to the home for addicts and the homeless “a testament to the commitment and excellence of Leadership St. Pete.”
“They made a miracle a reality,” McArthur said at the ribbon-cutting.
Grant called the legacy project “phenomenal.” She said the group went above and beyond and transformed that corner of Central Avenue. She added the project made people in the community aware there are people who care about their wellbeing and people willing to make a difference – on their behalf.
“That’s why they did it,” said Grant. “To make a difference.”
More information on LSP and applications to the class of 2022 can be found at www.leadershipstpete.com.
Graduating members for the Class of 2021 are:
- Michelle Anderson, HCI
- Ryan Baker, Millennium Physician Group
- William Baldwin, Sr., St. Petersburg College
- David Battle, Keller Williams
- Brandilyn Bolden, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
- Jene’t Bolden, Macy’s, Inc.
- Denyve Boyle, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay
- Nathan Bruemmer, St. Pete Pride
- Craig Cahill, RHQ
- Andy Chee, City of St. Petersburg
- Kean Clifford, Brookline Branch Services
- Elke Cumming, Gulf Coast JFCS
- Treva Davis, Planned Systems International
- Scott Drouin, City of St. Petersburg
- Esther Eugene, All Administrative Solutions, LLC
- Raymond Fajardo, Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Co. dba United Capital Funding Group, LLC
- Tony Finotti, Walker Wealth Management
- Bradley Gullett, Raymond James Financial
- Clifford Hobbs, III, Birch & Vine
- Daina Kelly, University of South Florida
- Amanda Kubisiak, City of St. Petersburg
- Renee’ Long, City of St. Petersburg
- Leah McRae, City of St. Petersburg
- Ronnell Montgomery, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce
- Bridget Narvaez, Empath Health
- Caryn Nesmith, University of South Florida
- Michelle Neilsen, Deloitte
- Emily Nipps, Tampa International Airport
- Morgan Permuy, Power Design, Inc.
- Keosha Poole, Shopify
- Tim Rankin, George F. Young, Inc.
- Nicole Roberts, St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership
- Roger Ross, Morean Arts Center
- Jessica Small, Power Design
- Angela Smoot, U.S. Army
- Jenna Stock, Raymond James Financial
- Sarah-Jane Vatelot, Behar + Peteranecz Architecture
- Yale Walker, Walker Wealth Management
- Carson Williams, City of St. Petersburg