Representatives of 50 years of Leadership St. Pete gathered under one roof as the leadership program commemorated its golden anniversary.
“Since 1969 Leadership St. Pete has been identifying, recruiting and developing leaders in the St. Petersburg community,” Madeline McCarthy, 2020 chair Leadership St. Pete, told hundreds of alumni and friends celebrating at the Coliseum Thursday night. “Through our program, we’ve enhanced the commerce of St. Petersburg by involving these top tier leaders who have been critical in the development and progression our city has seen over the last 50 years.”
Leadership St. Pete, a division of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, provides an intensive six-month experience and curriculum to enhance community acumen and develop future leaders.
Participants represent diversity in almost every form, with a common goal of moving the city forward, said McCarthy, regional director of operations for TJM Properties and a member of the class of 2013.
“Leadership St. Pete is one of the chamber’s foundational building blocks for ensuring the vitality of our community,” said Bill Kent, Chamber chair for 2019 and president of George F. Young Inc. “Long before us, chamber leaders recognized that investing in training of a diverse group of future leaders would lead to prosperity in our community … It doesn’t matter where each leader goes within our community after they graduate — nonprofits, for-profits, government or the Chamber. We all need leaders and the ranks of Leadership St. Pete make our community wonderful.”
Ninety-nine city employees have gone through the program over 50 years, said Markus Hughes, a member of the class of 2012, president of the Leadership St. Pete Alumni Association, and a lieutenant in the St. Petersburg Police Department. The class of 2020 will have the 100th city employee, he said.