Leadership Florida Selects its 2023-2024 Connect Class

Posted By: Jennie Kroeger Announcements, Press Releases,



CONTACT: Jennie Kroeger


(850) 556-2123


June 22, 2023






TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Leadership Florida has selected the participants for its 2023-2024 Connect Class program. Leaders from across the state, including corporate executives, business owners, educators, elected officials and non-profit executives, will participate in educational program sessions and meet other leaders from a variety of backgrounds who represent Florida's diverse composition.


Leadership Florida’s Connect Class Program—for individuals aged 25-39—is the state’s only leadership program that spans industry boundaries and focuses solely on developing Florida’s existing and emerging leaders. It is comprised of four sessions over a nine-month period in different locations throughout Florida. Each session focuses on key issues and opportunities specific to Florida while intertwining leadership skills and development.


“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 find the knowledge and inspiration to take on some of Florida’s biggest challenges.”


The following individuals have been selected for Connect Class 13:


  • Travis Anderson, Boys & Girls Clubs of Citrus County, Beverly Hills
  • Diana Arteaga, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, Miami
  • Lara Bach, TelevisaUnivision, Miami
  • Hannah Becker, GrayRobinson, Tampa
  • Debbie Blas, Miami Dade College, Miami
  • Darren Brownlee, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville
  • Nick Buchanan, Smith and Associates Realty, Tampa
  • Blaine Cherry, Cherry Communications, Tallahassee
  • Andrea Cichon, Tampa General Hospital, Tampa
  • Jen Connelly-Rosati, Broward Health Medical Center, Fort Lauderdale
  • Marianne Curtis, Berger Singerman, Miami
  • Diana Donovan, Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Jacksonville
  • Erin Dowd, Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables
  • Dante Drummer, Community Foundation for Palm Beach & Martin Counties, West Palm Beach
  • Karla Ebio, Florida Blue, Jacksonville
  • Robens Elusme, R&E Entertainment Group, Fort Lauderdale
  • Dymond Franklin, IBM, West Palm Beach
  • Jamie Gilmore Jr., Kut Different, Ocala
  • Casey Hall, Orlando Health, Orlando
  • Lauren Hartmann, University of South Florida, Saint Petersburg
  • Megan Hayward, Temporary Assistance Guru, Jacksonville
  • Christopher Hodge, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Tallahassee
  • Chris Holley II, Florida League of Cities, Tallahassee
  • Vickey Jones, Space Coast Black Chamber of Commerce, Cocoa
  • Chelsea Kavanagh, Jacksonville Port Authority, Jacksonville
  • Kimberly Lent Morales, Helios Education Foundation, Sunrise
  • Chris Lopez, Fort Myers
  • Sonless Martin, Miami Dade County, Miami
  • Adrienne Maygarden, Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation, Pensacola
  • Ray Mazzie, Southern Waters Capital, Fort Lauderdale
  • Sean McElroy, Nemours Children's Health, Saint Cloud
  • LaVell Monger, RTW Photography, Kissimmee
  • Megan Moon, Gunster, Jacksonville
  • Danielle Mousseau, Florida Power & Light Company, Juno Beach
  • Valerie Norman-Wickboldt, Avail Strategies, Tallahassee
  • Nikesh Patel, City of Sarasota, Sarasota
  • Trent Phillips, Consensus Communications, Orlando
  • Nicole Plunkett, Cotleur & Hearing, Jupiter
  • Keith Richard, Florida Department of Education, Tallahassee
  • Jenny Saint Louis, Broward College, Fort Lauderdale
  • Alex Saiz, Florida Justice Center, Oakland Park
  • Angie Santibanez, Amazon, Miami
  • Sarah Schwirian, Duke Energy Florida, Tampa
  • Veronica Session-Fennell, VyStar Credit Union, Jacksonville
  • Joe Simmons, LEGO Education, Tampa
  • Herbie Thiele, Sachs Media, Tallahassee
  • John Thornton, Jr., Indelible Solutions, Miami Shores
  • Carlos Valdes, AMIkids, Tampa
  • Kim Vassar, Arc Broward, Tampa
  • Rachel Weinbaum, City Furniture, Coconut Creek




About Leadership Florida


For the past 41 years, Leadership Florida has engaged more than 3,500 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.