The members of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce Leadership St. Johns classes of 2021 and 2020 held a combined graduation dinner and celebration Oct. 20 at Aunt Kate’s on the River in Vilano Beach.
St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick was keynote speaker. His topic was servant leadership.
Chamber Chair Jim Bush from FPL and Chamber President and CEO Isabelle Renault distributed certificates to the graduates who joined the ranks of more than 400 alumni in Northeast Florida’s strongest Leadership alumni network.
Applications for the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership St. Johns Class of 2022 will be accepted beginning Monday, Nov. 15. The class will begin in January 2022 with an opening retreat.
The program members are professionals from all sectors of industry, commerce and public service in St. Johns County.
The leadership development program was started in 2001 and has more than 400 alumni, including the former St. Johns County School District Superintendent of Schools and former Flagler College President Dr. Joseph G. Joyner, St. Johns County School District Superintendent of Schools Tim Forson, Flagler Health+ President and CEO Jason Barrett, St. Augustine Distillery co-founder and CEO and entrepreneur Phillip McDaniel, City of St. Augustine City Manager John Regan and Hardwick.
The Leadership St. Johns program was established to educate, connect and encourage elite and emerging professionals as they strive to make a positive impact on the local economy and community.
“The classes recently recognized were challenged by the COVID-19 epidemic and learned to rapidly pivot and contribute to our community despite the challenges,” program director Bob Porter said.
The 2022 program will run from January through September. Class members agree to meet during each scheduled program day with in-depth overviews of the challenges and opportunities in St. Johns County’s many industries, government agencies and nonprofits.
Many Leadership St. Johns graduates have been accepted into the statewide Leadership Florida program. For additional information and to register when nominations are open for the 2022 program, go to sjcchamber.com/leadership-st.-johns.
The graduates of the Leadership St. Johns Class of 2021 are Trish Becker, Anastasia Mosquito Control Board; Randy Bradley, Northrop/Grumman; Jason Caban, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office; Jennifer Michaux, St. Augustine Police Department; Diane Denholm, Supporting Strategies, Northeast Florida; Melissa Derrick, St. Augustine Youth Services; Tres Edenfield III, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office; Melissa Cecil, Flagler Health+; Whitney Kersey Graves, St. Johns County Tax Collector; Bonnie Hayflick, Bonnie Hayflick PR; Meghan Holder, independent agent, Primerica; Dawn Infanti, United Way; Lauren Howington, Herbie Wiles Insurance; Heidi Jameson, JAXUSA Partnership; Gurpreet Misra, self-employed entrepreneur; Vicky Ann Oliveri, St. Johns Title; Dianne Pittman, Watson Realty; Jennifer Ravan, St. Johns County Tax Collector; Christina Parrish Stone, St. Johns County Cultural Council; Josh Underwood, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office; Greg Wells, K9s for Warriors; Meredith Breidenstein, City of St. Augustine; and Casey Woolsey, Woolsey/Morcom PLLC.
Renault is a graduate of Leadership St. Johns and Leadership Florida and added that involvement in the program can promote participation in nonprofit and volunteer government advisory boards and potential involvement in elected office.
“We encourage class members to use skills learned through the LSJ experience to engage actively in the governing of St. Johns County,” said Renault.
For information about the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, go to sjcchamber.com.