Distinguished Member Award - Carolyn Johnson and Isabel Norton

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Sarasota, Fla. – Carolyn Johnson and Isabel Norton have been recognized for their philanthropic efforts and their dedication to the Sarasota community and Florida, by being honored with the 2016 Leadership Florida® Distinguished Member Award at the group’s annual meeting on June 25. This award is presented to a Leadership Florida member whose leadership activities and exemplary character illustrate the highest standards of the organization, and whose activities garner results and leave a lasting impact on the state of Florida. This year marks the first time Leadership Florida selected co-winners of the award.

Carolyn Johnson is currently in her third year as board chair for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. She has also served as president of the Ringling College Library Association, Chair of Town Hall, and as a longtime board member for the John & Mabel Ringling Museum of Art. She was appointed by Governor Chiles to serve on the FSU transition committee when the museum faced difficult times. Other organizations where Johnson has held a leadership role includes Big Brothers/Big Sisters, City of Sarasota’s Parks, Recreation and Environment Advisory Boards, Leadership Sarasota, and Sarasota Youth Leadership.

Isabel Norton has an extensive list of accomplishments and involvement since settling in Sarasota in 1973. She has been a president of Ringling College Library Association, Chair of Town Hall, board member of Prevent Blindness Florida and Prevent Blindness America, board member of Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence, and council member of Girl Scouts of the Gulfcoast. Having worked through very difficult family tragedies in recent years, Norton has turned grief into a passion to better her community and state. This will be the second time Norton has received an award at Leadership Florida’s Annual Meeting, the first being in 1998 when she received the Chairman’s Award.

Recently recognized by the Association of Fund Raising Professionals for their work, Johnson and Norton have collaborated on multiple projects to enhance the quality of life for Sarasota residents and give back to the community. The Awards Committee received many letters of support from Sarasota leaders nominating these two women, as co-nominees, reinforcing that this duo is truly dynamic. Referred to as the “Grand Dames” of their region, nominators listed their endless leadership roles, including their recent, hugely successful, funding campaign for the new state-of-the-art library at Ringling College of Art and Design, which raised $16.9 million.

Leadership Florida is proud to honor Carolyn Johnson and Isabel Norton as Distinguished Members.

For more information, contact Mercy Joy Corlew at mcorlew@leadershipflorida.org.

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About Leadership Florida

For thirty-five years, Leadership Florida has developed a reputation as a builder of a stronger, diverse statewide sense of community. A respected non-partisan convener of committed individuals, Leadership Florida enhances the knowledge and leadership abilities of Florida’s leaders through educational programs and by encouraging collaborative work for the betterment of our state. Leadership Florida provides Floridians essential information and a meaningful forum for their opinions, and creates opportunities for shared experiences that are inviting, inspiring and of lasting value. Leadership Florida is a federally registered trademark.