Leadership Florida Statewide Community Foundation, Inc.
215 S. Monroe St
Ste 710
Tallahassee FL 32301-1858
We continually convene a statewide community of committed leaders to enhance and recharge their leadership skills and to educate and inspire them to work across their diversities and strengths for a better Florida. We engage Floridians by providing meaningful forums for sharing essential information and viewpoints, and we create opportunities for shared experiences that are inviting, inspiring and of lasting value.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Wendy Walker
Board Chair Mr. Jeff Wahlen
Board Chair Affiliation Ausley McMullen, P.A.
General Info
Organization DBA
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1982
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Oct 2016
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $1,879,217.00
Projected Expenses $1,860,822.00
IRS Letter of Determination
Leadership Florida 501(c)(3) determination letterView
Impact Statement

Leadership Florida is the premier organization, producing high-level programs from a statewide perspective for Florida’s current and emerging leaders and elected officials in a variety of forums.

  • Top 2015-2016 programmatic accomplishments: 
    • Class Program, a highly competitive process selects 55 leaders from a broad demographic and geographic cross section.  The program is presented in six sessions over ten months.  The six county Calusa Region—Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Desoto, Highlands and Hardee, is home to more than 110 members.
    • Connect Florida, designed to engage our state’s emerging leaders (under 40) through a program similar to the Class program, but with more emphasis in developing leadership skills.  40-50 emerging leaders are selected annually from all geographical areas.
    • Inaugural year of the Education Initiative produced in conjunction with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Helios Education Foundation and Florida Department of Education. The program is designed for Florida’s education community.
    • Annual meeting—a member gathering to hear from nationally recognized speakers, to connect with others and to recharge their leadership skills.
    • Executive Leadership is an invitation-only program designed for C-suite leaders who are new to Florida or new to their positions.
  • Top five goals for 2016-2017:
    • Continue and solidify support for the Education Initiative.
    • Raise funds for—and produce—each of the annual programs (Class, Connect and Annual Meeting).  Each could be listed as separate goals and are major undertakings for the organization.
    • Produce a statewide televised debate for the office of US Senator.
    • Continue to increase regional activity supported by gifts from sources like the Giving Challenge.
    • Replenish scholarship funds to ensure that no qualified class member is ever turned away because of financial need.
Needs Statement

 1. Scholarships:  Each of our annual programs (Class, Connect, College) will, on any given year, include a number of scholarship requests.  As a matter of policy, Leadership Florida does not select on the ability to pay, but on the quality of applicant.  The costs for each program College ($2000), Connect ($2500) and Class ($5450) can create financial barriers for students, new professionals, small businesses and nonprofit executives.  We find that most can pay some of the cost burden, but financial assistance is necessary.

  1. Regional Engagement Events:  Our member network is divided into nine regions that strive to produce quality events.  The Calusa Region (Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Highlands, DeSoto and Hardee) contains approximately 110 members.  Opportunities for regional events varies and would depend on donor’s interest and the acceptance of Leadership Florida.  Cost range $1,000-$3,000.
  2. Annual Meeting: We focus on providing the highest quality opportunities, whether it’s a thought-provoking speaker ($25,000-$75,000), engaging panel discussion or access to a ‘place’ not normally available.  We also know that a personal connection with a speaker can leverage opportunities.  If donors have ideas on this, we are more than happy to discuss.


Background Statement

Leadership Florida is the only organization that takes a statewide view of the conditions and challenges that face our great state. Florida is now the third most populous state in the nation and our role is ever greater.  We offer a leadership continuum that expands the impact of community leaders across the state. Created in 1982 by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Florida builds a sense of statewide community by identifying and educating individuals with the passion and commitment to help make great things happen.

The individual contributions of more than 1,800 Florida leaders is multiplied by their collective strength and enhanced by the distinct and diverse nature of the regions of Florida in which they reside. The members of Leadership Florida are dedicated not only to their local communities, but to their statewide community. From its active regional alumni groups, to its broad committee structure that encourages long-term involvement by all of its members, Leadership Florida is a unique and dynamic program designed to promote statewide leadership. While leadership programs exist in many other states, none rivals Leadership Florida's ambitious offerings for multiple levels of leadership education. Florida is comprised of diverse cultures and ideas that wash in with the tide of new "Floridians" each year.

Transplantation and transience from across the nation and the world have defined Florida from the beginning. While this diversity creates a tumultuous environment full of challenges and opportunities, it is also the source of this state's leadership and its strength.

Knowledge is a key element of leadership, and each program is designed to enhance understanding about issues critical to Florida. Leadership Florida is about making friends that can be counted on to put the interests of Florida first.

Areas Served
Areas Served
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

During the more than 25 years I have led Leadership Florida, I have been privileged to have the support of the Leadership Florida board, whose members are our states’ finest leaders.  During that time, Leadership Florida has expanded its reach through programs, our alumni member base and financial strength.  We are a mature organization that understands the value of partnering to leverage our strengths and resources.  A few examples...  For many years we have partnered with the Florida League of Cities, the Florida Legislature and the Florida Association of Counties to develop programs for their members.   In 2015, we will launch the Education Initiative which will leverage Leadership Florida’s reputation for quality programming and statewide connections. The 3-year initiative will target Florida’s education community (teachers, administrators, school boards, unions, parents, business partners.) Recently, Leadership Florida was invited to partner in the Florida Civic Advance, an initiative being led by FCRC Consensus Center at FSU to enhance our state’s civic life.

While I am proud of our accomplishments, the organization is committed to a continuous process of evaluation and refinement of program components and outcomes, partners and strategic direction.  This process keeps us fresh and able to respond to opportunities and changing times.  

Our ability to deliver quality programs and attract C-level leaders doesn’t come without a cost.   We dedicate staff and board time to fundraising on a year-round basis.

Description The bedrock of Leadership Florida programming, for thirty-fiveyears, between 40 and 70 leaders have been chosen annually to participate in a stimulating and thought-provoking nine-month educational program that consists of five two and three-day sessions held in cities throughout the state. These sessions include programming on issues critical to Florida, leadership skills assessment and training, and relevant information on Florida's history, demography, diversities, and opportunities. One of the most exciting elements of the program is the chance to spend valuable time interacting with other leaders from a variety of professions, philosophies, and parts of the state who represent Florida's diverse ethnic and racial composition.
Budget $257,905
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Adults Adults
Short Term Success

At the end of the 8 month, five session program, a diverse group of leaders from around the state will have received in-depth non-partisan background information on critical issues facing the state.  Further, the in-depth discussion opportunities the program affords will have changed their approach to facing these issues by adding the consideration of Florida as a statewide community.

Long Term Success

Among other benefits for Florida, the graduates of the class program will extend their commitment to local and state community through their collective and individual service on boards of organizations and companies around the state.

Program Success Monitoring

Program success is monitored in two ways: 1) Evaluations by participants after each program session, and 2) Ongoing activity in the membership of Leadership Florida after graduation.  Of the 1,500 graduates over our 33 year history, 900 remain active, dues paying members, and over 10% have choosen to become Lifetime Members of the organization.

Program Success Examples

The more than 1,500 graduates of Leadership Florida are men and women who serve as chief executive officers of Florida's top corporations, mayors of major cities, executives of pivotal non-profit groups, and leading academicians.  They are also farmers, managers of high tech consortiums, rural hospital administrators, and directors of Florida's largest agencies.  They own small businesses and are law enforcement officers in cities throughout the state.  Their commitment to local and state community is witnessed through their collective service on more than 5,000 boards of companies and organizations around the state.


Connect Florida’s mission is to educate, engage and inspire our state’s top emerging leaders.

The Connect Florida Statewide Leadership Institute annually selects 35 – 45 professionals between the ages of 25 and 39 to participate in five sessions over a ten month period in different locations. Each session focuses on key issues and opportunities that are specific to Florida while intertwining leadership skills and development. Connect Florida selects a class of diverse leaders to participate in programming and experiences with the goal of becoming educated, engaged, and inspired to make Florida a better place while forming lifetime connections and bonds among classmates. Connect Florida Day at the Capitol takes place in Tallahassee each February. It provides over 200 diverse young professionals with an inside look at key Florida institutions, and other business / industry experts to give attendees a comprehensive view and understanding on the business of Florida.
Budget $186,750
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Adults Adults
Short Term Success

Forty-one young professionals will complete the five-session, five-city Connect Institute Class V program.  They will have received in-depth, non-partisan background information on critical issues facing the state as well as intensive personal leadership training.  An additional 200 young professionals will have an intensive introduction to critical issues facing the state at Connect Day at the Capitol, and will receive networking opportunities with the State's top political leadership.

Long Term Success

Young professionals graduating from the Connect Institute program will be offered the opportunity to become full members of Leadership Florida, and will join a network that is an important catalyst for creating new opportunities for our state through their powerful connection with one another.

Program Success Monitoring

Evaluation forms are used to track participants' feedback to every session presented as part of Connect Florida.  Further, participant integration into the larger organization is tracked.

Program Success Examples

An extremely active, vibrant Connect Florida alumni group has been integrated with all ongoing activities of Leadership Florida, both statewide and regional.  Connect Florida graduates have been welcomed in to leadership positions within the organization.

Thanks to funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Helios Education Foundation, and the Florida Department of Education, Leadership Florida has conducted its first-ever issue-specific initiative, the Education Initiative. The first year, this innovative program was a resounding success, and now Leadership Florida is seeking support to continue and expand the program for two additional years, 2016-17, and 2017-18, as well as transition into a sustainable program.
At the core, the Initiative is about leveraging the LF approach and program model to guarantee all Florida students an education that prepares them for college, career and life. By connecting Florida’s leaders in education to the best content and to one another while also integrating the larger Leadership Florida community with the state’s leaders in education, we will be a decisive force in Florida’s continued progress toward being the top state in the nation and the world for K-12 student achievement.  
Budget $35,000
Category Education, General/Other Education Policy Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults K-12 (5-19 years) General/Unspecified
Short Term Success
  • Enhancing the knowledge base of and building trust among the professional constituencies most responsible for improving K-12 education in Florida.
  • Building the foundation of a Florida Education Program alumni base that understands the importance of closing the equity gaps in our education system and providing opportunities for every student to succeed.
  • Building a model for exportation to other states.
  • Providing the best information available for participants in all Leadership Florida programs and other Florida leaders from experts on how to ensure that Florida’s historically underserved students are successful in college and careers.
Long Term Success

Over the next two years 70 educational leaders will participate in Class II and Class III of Leadership Florida's Education Initiative. This unique program will provide those individuals, and the communities and constituencies they serve, with access to the very best content on K-12 education from international, national and statewide sources for the purpose of achieving high quality advancement for K-12 outcomes in Florida and securing our state’s place among the top tier in the country. This will be particularly important as Florida transitions to the Every Student Succeeds Act over the next 18 months.Leadership Florida 

A diverse group of more than 1,100 Leadership Florida members will have the opportunity to receive current in-depth, nonpartisan background information on critical education issues facing the state through eight-nine regional programs, as well as two annual meetings.

Program Success Monitoring Program success is monitored closely by the Florida Department of Education, Helios Education Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Program Success Examples

Among the outstanding participants in Class I are recipients of Florida’s teacher and principal of the year awards, the chair of Florida’s State Board of Education, and the daughter of a Mexican migrant family, the 14th of 16 children who is the first in her family to graduate from high school or college and who now holds a doctorate degree and uses her knowledge and experience to work with farmworker students. For the first time ever in this country, those who work in K-12 education are learning together – not in their traditional silos of teachers only, superintendents with superintendents.  This is a tenuous time in K-12 education, particularly for historically underserved populations. If Florida is to continue its trajectory it will be as a result of broad coalitions of leaders, in education and out, who understand the path forward and who are united in a knowledge and bonded by a network – like that which Leadership Florida uniquely forges.

Program Comments by Organization From active regional member groups, to a broad committee structure that encourages long-term involvement by all members, Leadership Florida is a unique and dynamic program designed to promote statewide leadership. While Leadership programs exist in many other states, none rivals Leadership Florida's ambitious offerings for multiple levels of leadership identification and training. 
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Wendy Walker
CEO Term Start Apr 1989
CEO/Executive Director Email wwalker@leadershipflorida.org
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 6
Part Time Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 87.5
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 501
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Leadership Florida creates programming for the Florida League of Mayors.  In election years, it also partners with the Florida Press Association to produce live, televised debates for races of statewide importance.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Jeff Wahlen
Company Affiliation Ausley McMullen, P.A.
Board Term July 2016 to June 2017
Board Chair Email jwahlen@ausley.com
Board Members
Board Members
Ms. Cathy Brown-Butler Bank of America
Mr. Gus Corbella Greenberg Traurig
Mr. Husein Cumber Corporate Development Florida East Coast Industries
Mr. Roger Feicht Gunster
Mr. Carlos Garcia Hancock Askew & Co. LLP
Mr. Jim Gilmore Infinity Global Solutions, LLC
Ms. Shannon Gravitte Florida Hospital
Ms. Jennifer Grove Gulf Power Company
Mr. Greg Haile Broward College
Ms. Roxanne Joffe MagnifyGOOD
Ms. Beth Kigel Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Roymi Membiela Baptist Health South Florida
Mr. Ray Monteleone Paladin Global Partners
Mr. Todd Powell Plum Creek
Mr. Dean Ridings Florida Press Association
Mr. Randall Vitale Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust
Mr. Jeff Wahlen Ausley & McMullen
Ms. Vicki Weber Hopping Green & Sams, P.A.
Mr. Mark Wilson Florida Chamber of Commerce
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 3
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 12
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
Board Meeting Attendance % 78
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 37
Standing Committees
Program / Program Planning
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $1,879,217.00
Projected Expenses $1,860,822.00
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $1,439,671.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$73,008$0$0
Individual Contributions$112,570$158,910$168,688
Investment Income, Net of Losses$27,639$31,163$10,954
Membership Dues$0$235,563$210,915
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$326,268$53,858$290,520
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$1,397,425$1,183,125$1,053,550
Administration Expense$114,713$55,712$254,170
Fundraising Expense$74,170$66,258$77,698
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.161.171.19
Program Expense/Total Expenses88%91%76%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue40%42%46%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$3,127,698$3,018,981$2,421,998
Current Assets$1,755,529$1,675,772$1,394,512
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$408,939$570,142$313,063
Total Net Assets$2,718,759$2,448,839$2,108,935
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountSponsorships $634,750Annual Class Program Tuition $445,367Sponsorships $637,617
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnnual Class Program Tuition $515,700Sponsorships $417,500Annual Class Program $466,939
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountConference Registrations $229,570Membership Dues $235,563Membership Dues $210,915
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $125,001 - $150,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities4.292.944.45
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from Federal 990s and audited financial statements, where available. Contributions include foundation and corporate support.
Nonprofit Leadership Florida Statewide Community Foundation, Inc.
Address 215 S. Monroe St
Ste 710
Tallahassee, FL 32301 1858
Phone 850 521-1220