Leadership Florida Announces Selection of 2022-2023 Cornerstone Class Participants

Posted By: Jennie Kroeger Announcements, Press Releases,

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Leadership Florida has selected its 40th Cornerstone Class participants. Fifty-five Florida leaders aged 40 and over, including corporate CEOs, business owners, educators, elected officials and non-profit executives, will participate in a nine-month educational program and meet other leaders from a variety of backgrounds who represent Florida's diverse composition.


The program consists of a series of two and three-day sessions held in cities throughout the state, including Westgate River Ranch Resort in eastern Polk County, followed by Naples, Tallahassee, Tampa, Miami and the final session in Boca Raton at the 2023 Annual Meeting.


“Our mission at Leadership Florida is to bring together committed leaders from all over the state to recharge their leadership skills and expand their network,” said Wendy Spencer, president and CEO of Leadership Florida. “Through this powerful community, our class participants are able to the find knowledge and inspiration to take on some of Florida’s biggest challenges.”


The following individuals have been selected for Cornerstone Class 40:


  • Karen Bell, A.P. Bell Fish Company, Cortez
  • Mark Bennett, Bank of America, Jacksonville
  • Javier Betancourt, Miami-Dade County Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust, Miami
  • Shelly Bradshaw, Performing Arts Center Authority, Fort Lauderdale
  • Jody Brooks, JEA, Jacksonville
  • Maria Brous, Publix, Lakeland
  • Kathleen Cannon, United Way of Broward County, Fort Lauderdale
  • Michael Cassel, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, Yulee
  • Vickie Chachere, Florida Trend, St. Petersburg
  • Jessica Clasby, Florida Sugar Cane League, Lake Worth
  • Kristen Coury, Gulfshore Playhouse, Naples
  • Richard Darabi, Moore Bass Consulting, Tallahassee
  • Alexandra de Alejo, GrayRobinson, Miami
  • Michael DeBock, Florida Power & Light, Juno Beach
  • Naakesh Dewan, GuideWell, Tampa
  • Katie Duty, HDR Engineering, Tampa
  • Heather Fagan, Nemours Children's Health, Orlando
  • Alexander Fernandez, Broward Health, Fort Lauderdale
  • John Flanagan, CareerSource Tampa Bay, Tampa
  • Jeffrey Freimark, Miami Jewish Health, Miami
  • Sophia Galvin, Broward College, Ft Lauderdale
  • Isabel Garcia, RCMA, Immokalee
  • Herbert Gibson, North Swell Media & Consulting, Jensen Beach
  • Mark Gordon, Observer Media Group, Sarasota
  • Cotrenia Hood, Steel Bleu Consulting, Naples
  • Heather Kasten, Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Sarasota
  • Ann-Marie Knight, UF Health Jacksonville, Jacksonville
  • Matthew Korshoff, SouthState Bank, Ft. Lauderdale
  • Mari Kuraishi, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Jacksonville
  • Georgia Lorenz, Seminole State College of Florida, Sanford
  • Amy Hecht Macchio, Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • John Martinez, J.P. Morgan Private Bank, Orlando
  • Noel Martinez, Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce, Palm Beach Gardens
  • Shelita McGowan, McGowan Spinal Rehabilitation Center, Jacksonville
  • Jenni Morejon, Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority, Fort Lauderdale
  • John Muller, Gehring Group, Palm Beach Gardens
  • Stephen Myers, Elite Jets, Naples
  • Kelli O'Leary, Liberty Landscape Supply, Jacksonville
  • Nathaniel Ortiz, Baptist Hospital of South Florida, Miami
  • Chuck Perdue, Bay County Tax Collector, Panama City
  • Charu Raheja, TriageLogic, Jacksonville
  • Darren Richards, Tucker Hall, Tampa
  • Kirsten Russell, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Sarasota
  • Erica Shea, Shumaker, Tampa
  • Ryan Sladek, PNC Bank, Tampa
  • Grasford Smith, Akerman LLP, West Palm Beach
  • Salesia Smith-Gordon, Law Office of Salesia Smith-Gordon, West Palm Beach
  • Mercedes Soler, Solmart Media, Sarasota
  • Sam Stark, Rollins College, Winter Park
  • Michelle Stone, Marion County Board of County Commissioners, Ocala
  • Abigail Vail, Ballard Partners, Tallahassee
  • Paul Viera-Briggs, Harmony Healthcare Orlando, Winter Park
  • Stephanie Wardein, Lee Health, Fort Myers
  • Samuel Young, Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, Pensacola



About Leadership Florida


For the past 40 years, Leadership Florida has engaged more than 3,300 leaders through a competitive application process who represent all sectors of Florida’s economy and reflect the diverse demographics of the state. Through experiential classes, these leaders renew their leadership skills and build their networks with the goal of addressing key issues facing the state of Florida. For more information, visit www.leadershipflorida.org. Leadership Florida is a federally registered trademark.