Leadership Florida Names Wendy Spencer its Next President

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National Community Service Executive to Succeed Longtime Executive Wendy Walker

Tallahassee, FL – November 18, 2016 – Leadership Florida, the preeminent statewide leadership organization, today announced that nationally renowned and respected executive Wendy Spencer will be its next president.

Spanning over three decades, Spencer’s career includes significant top leadership roles in the government, nonprofit and private sectors. She will succeed Wendy Walker, who has served for more than 27 years as president of Leadership Florida, as the organization’s new president, effective April 3, 2017.

Leadership Florida Board Chair Jeff Wahlen said that Spencer’s appointment is part of a 15-month leadership transition plan and a national search.

“Without question, the strong reputation of Leadership Florida and Wendy Walker’s outstanding leadership as our longserving president were reflected in a diverse candidate pool that led to the selection of Wendy Spencer,” said Wahlen. “The Board is grateful to Wendy Walker for her stellar, steady and distinguished service – and we are confident and enthused about Wendy Spencer’s ability to guide this great organization into its future. We are very much looking forward to her leadership in advancing the mission of Leadership Florida.”

Spencer currently serves as the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a presidentially appointed position confirmed unanimously by the Senate in 2012. CNCS, a $1.1 billion federal agency with over 650 staff and offices in 45 states and Washington, D.C., engages millions of Americans in service through programs like AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and the Social Innovation Fund. Additionally, the agency partners with and provides key support to 52 Governor-appointed state service commissions, including Volunteer Florida, where Spencer was appointed CEO by Governor Jeb Bush in 2003 and served until 2012. Her previous roles included director of the Florida Park Service and a decade as campaign director for United Way of the Big Bend (FL) among others. She has served on a myriad of boards, in leadership roles with local, state, regional and national organizations and is a graduate of several leadership programs, including Leadership Florida.

“As a proud member of Leadership Florida Class XXIV, I am honored to be selected by the organization’s board of directors to build on the accomplishments of Wendy Walker and her team,” Spencer said. “Leadership Florida is recognized as the premier statewide community leadership group in the country with talented members who make a difference in Florida every day. Its goals of educating, engaging and inspiring leaders are pivotal to the success of Florida. Having dedicated my professional career to engaging citizens to do what is best for their community, this position is a dream come true. I look forward to hitting the ground running next spring.”

When Wendy Spencer’s term as president begins, Wendy Walker will assume the title of president emeritus of Leadership Florida in recognition of her many years as an outstanding president, her immeasurable contributions to the strong, vibrant organization it is today and her passion for its members and for the great State of Florida.

“Wendy Spencer embodies every quality I hoped for in our next president,” said Walker. “As a member of Leadership Florida, she is strongly committed to our mission; and with her responsibilities in three statewide leadership roles in Florida through United Way, the Florida Park Service and Volunteer Florida, she knows our state inside and out; her highly-successful tenure leading CNCS has provided her with relationships and background that will be invaluable to this organization and to Florida. I am delighted with the board’s decision.”

Leadership Florida’s partner on this successful search and selection process was Diversified Search and John Mestepey, Managing Director and head of the firm’s Miami office. Diversified Search is a leading retained executive search firm with nine offices in the U.S. and global reach.

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About Leadership Florida

For thirty-five years, Leadership Florida (www.leadershipflorida.org) 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.