2018 Annual Meeting

Community ,



The Annual Meeting is the largest event for all Leadership Florida graduates, drawing a diverse group of hundreds of leaders from across the state of Florida for a meeting designed to educate, inspire, and engage.  This year, the Annual Meeting will be held in beautiful Sarasota, Florida on June 14-17, 2018!   Registration is open to dues-paying Leadership Florida graduates and their families.  The 2018 Annual Meeting is the largest the organization has ever hosted with 11 major speakers and presenters, and a full agenda featuring regional excursions and activities; live performances; and exposure to the beautiful Sarasota region. 


Carnival Corporation & PLC has generously donated two cruises to be given away at the Annual Meeting this June. Each cruise features a seven day maximum trip for two passengers and includes a balcony stateroom. 

Winners are responsible for gratuities, port charges, and all taxes. Each cruise has a maximum value of $2,500.00. Cruise must be taken on Carnival Cruise Line. Winners MUST BOOK BY November 2, 2018. Must be present to win.

Thank you Carnival Corporation for this wonderful gift!



Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

Actors | Musicians | Dancers | Singers | Choreographers | Directors | Playwrights | Entertainers

It’s going to be a night to remember as the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe performs at the Saturday night event!
We are going to eat, drink and be merry as we dance the night away to your favorite Motown hits followed by a DJ playing today’s hits. You don’t want to miss this!

The Water Coolers

Actors | Musicians | Broadway Entertainers

This dynamic, high-energy group of Broadway performers will entertain you with a Leadership Florida-themed production.

Speakers & Presentations

Driverless Cars Presentation

Leading National Experts on driverless cars will discuss this evolving technology



Claire Diaz-Ortiz

Considered one of the most innovative female voices in digital media today. She is an author, speaker, and technology innovator who has been named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. Claire was an early employee at Twitter, where she was hired to lead corporate social innovation.  One of her claims to fame is her role in getting “the pope to tweet”.  Diaz-Ortiz worked with the Vatican and served as the social networking platform's primary liaison with the Holy See for the launch of Pope Benedict XVI's official Twitter account.  Learn more from this superstar digital expert on today’s trends in the ever-changing digital world we live in.

Gregg Petersmeyer

Served President George H.W. Bush as Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of National Service

Gregg served on the White House staffs of two presidents, Richard M. Nixon and George H.W. Bush. On President Bush’s senior staff, Gregg was the founding director of the White House Office of National Service and is widely credited with helping President Bush make civic engagement, voluntary action, social entrepreneurship and "points of light" hallmarks of his presidency. Gregg will interview White House photographer Eric Draper as the two reflect on serving in close personal contact with these U.S. Presidents.

Christopher Kennedy Lawford

Author | Actor | Activist
Opioid Epidemic

 Christopher Lawford is the first child of Peter and Pat Kennedy Lawford, born in 1955. Beginning in his teen years and up, a drug problem put Lawford in a clinic for a time, but he was able to straighten out his life and continue his education. He later set up a clinic to treat opiate dependency. He has also served as a lecturer in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  Christopher is an active speaker on the opioid epidemic and the need for a greater priority placed on prevention through recovery for persons affected by the disease of addictions.

Eric Draper

Chief Photographer for
President George W. Bush

Eric Draper served as President George W. Bush’s chief photographer for the entire eight years of his presidency, photographing him daily in his activities at the office, abroad and in his personal life.  Eric will share some of these photos and the stories behind the scenes with life in the Bush White House. 

Captain Charlie Plumb

United States Naval Aviator, POW
Inspirational Speaker

“I’m No Hero” is the story of Captain Charlie Plumb, but it is also the story of all P.O.W.’s who faced an isolated world of degradation, loneliness, tedium, hunger, and pain. It is a story of hope, suggesting that the techniques used to survive extreme conditions can be applied to overcome the struggles of day-to-day living.

Frank Luntz

Political Pollster

Frank is an American political consultant, pollster, and "public opinion guru" .  His most recent work has been as a frequent commentator and analyst, as well as running focus groups during and after presidential debates.  He describes his specialty as "testing language and finding words that will help his clients sell their product or turn public opinion on an issue or a candidate.  Frank will discuss Florida’s important role in the nation’s hot political climate with a look at how public opinion matters on all fronts.

Michael Smith

Director, Youth Opportunity Programs, Obama Foundation
Executive Director, My Brother's Keeper Alliance

Michael Smith, a leader in the fields of social innovation, philanthropy and building capacity in underserved communities, currently leads My Brother's Keeper Alliance at the Obama Foundation, was the director of MBK at the White House, the head of the Obama Administration's Social Innovation Fund and Senior Vice President of Social Innovation at the Case Foundation. Michael will speak about lessons from his collective experiences, where the movement to expand opportunity is headed and how his upbringing has shaped his perspectives on social innovation and social justice.

Senator George LeMieux

Chairman of the Board, Gunster
Former U.S. Senator
Historic Figures in Florida

Senator LeMieux has a new book hot off the presses entitled Florida Made:  The 25 Most Important Figures Who Shaped the State.  He will share unique insight into some key Floridians who helped shape our great state.

Joe Everson

Artist | Vocalists | Musician | Photographer
Patriotic Performance

Joe Everson is a renaissance man — artist, vocalist, musician, and photographer.  His viral videos of singing the National Anthem while painting a live-action artwork have over 190 million total views.  He travels the nation as a favorite of professional sports teams and Fortune 500 companies and has been featured on ESPN Sports Center, Fox Sports, SB Nation, FOX News, NHL.com, Washington Times, CBS Sports, USA Today, Huffington Post and has had nationwide coverage from media and celebrities.  Joe’s performance will be a very patriotic start to this year’s Annual Meeting.  As a bonus, two lucky Leadership Florida bidders will win two of Joe’s original paintings!

Michael Matsumoto

Executive Producer, HGTV Hit Show, Fixer Upper

Michael is the executive producer of HGTV’s hit TV show Fixer Upper. Fixer Upper is an American reality television series about flipping houses starring the popular couple Chip and Joanna Gaines who are based in Waco, Texas. The show has just concluded its 5th and final season this year.  You will hear what it takes to be a successful television producer in a growing competitive viewing market and some inside stories about the show Fixer Upper.  Also discussed will be how shows like this are affecting America’s buying habits, home designs and more.




























Hotel Information


At this time, Leadership Florida's room blocks at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota and the Westin Resort and Spa are sold out. To be placed on the waiting list please contact Kristin Mullikin at kmullikin@leadershipflorida.org


Members staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota will enjoy a reduced rate of $209.00. 

Members staying at the Westin Resort and Spa will enjoy a reduced rate of $155.00. 



*Please note, reservations page notes dates of June 11th -June 17th. Meeting dates, however, are June 14-17.  Limited rooms are available at the group rate prior to meeting dates.*


Thank you to our 2018 Annual Meeting Sponsors