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 Spencer
Board Chair Ms. Beth Kigel
Board Chair Affiliation Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce
General Info
Organization DBA
Leadership Florida
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1982
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Oct 2018
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
Leadership Florida 501(c)(3) determination letterView
Impact Statement

Top 2017 Programmatic Accomplishments Include:

    • The Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class has a highly competitive process that selects 56 leaders over age 40 from a broad demographic and geographic cross-section. The program is presented in six sessions over ten months and connects leaders with other Floridians who are committed to making the Sunshine State a better place.
    • The Leadership Florida Connect Class is also highly competitive, is designed to engage emerging leaders (under 40) with an emphasis on developing leadership skills. A diverse class of 45 members are selected annually from all geographical areas in Florida.
    • The Leadership Florida Education Program, engaged over 40 educational leaders and was produced with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Florida Department of Education and others.
    • Annual Meeting gathered over 800 diverse members from around the state to hear from nationally recognized speakers, to connect with others and to recharge their leadership skills
    • Engaged more than 2,000 members in the nine regions that span the state by hosting 36 events across Florida. Specifically, the six-county Calusa Region—Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Desoto, Highlands, and Hardee, is home to more than 110 members.

The 2018 Goals Include:

    • Solidify support for the Leadership Florida Education program to continue the mission to engage and inspire those involved with Florida's education system.
    • Produce successful Leadership Florida Cornerstone, Connect and Executive programs, and the 2018 Annual Meeting in Sarasota.
    • 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: Our class programs are the backbone to the organization and the programs are designed to educate, engage and inspire our state’s top emerging leaders.  Each of our annual Leadership Florida class programs, 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 Cornerstone ($5,450), Connect ($3,250) and Education ($1,950) can create financial barriers for new professionals, small businesses and nonprofit executives. We find that most can pay some of the cost burden, but financial assistance is necessary.
  2. Regional Engagement Events: Our member network is divided into nine regions that strive to produce quality events. Opportunities for regional events varies and would depend on donor’s interest and the acceptance of Leadership Florida. Cost range $1,000-$3,000.
  3. 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 2,800 Florida leaders are 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
Areas Served Comments Leadership Florida is leadership in Florida and supports all 67 counties in the Sunshine State. Celebrating 36 years of educating, engaging, and inspiring Florida’s leaders, our mission is to inspire residents to strengthen and improve all the communities in our state. 
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

Description The bedrock of Leadership Florida programming, for thirty-five years, 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 2,800 graduates over our 33 year history, 1,000 remain active, dues-paying members, and over 10% have choosen to become Lifetime Members of the organization.

Program Success Examples

The more than 2,800 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.


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

The Leadership Florida Connect 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

Up to 50 young professionals will complete the five-session, five-city Leadership Florida Connect Institute Class VIII 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 Leadership Florida 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 Leadership Florida Connect graduate group has been integrated with all ongoing activities of Leadership Florida, both statewide and regional.  Connect  graduates have been welcomed in to leadership positions within the organization.

Thanks to funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Florida Department of Education and Florida Education Foundation, Leadership Florida continues to conduct its first-ever issue-specific initiative, the Education Initiative. The second year, this innovative program was a resounding success, and now Leadership Florida is seeking support to continue and expand the program for 2017-18, as well as transition into a sustainable program.
At the core, the Initiative is about leveraging the Leadership Florida 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 year over 40 educational leaders will participate in 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. 

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  regional programs, as well as the 2018 annual meeting to be held in Sarasota.

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

Among the outstanding participants in Class I & II were 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 Spencer
CEO Term Start Mar 2017
CEO/Executive Director Email wspencer@leadershipflorida.org

Spanning over three decades, Spencer’s career includes significant top leadership roles in the government, nonprofit and private sectors. She succeeded Wendy Walker, who had served for more than 27 years as president of Leadership Florida, as the organization’s new president, effective April 3, 2017. Spencer’s appointment was part of a 15-month leadership transition plan and a national search.

Previously, Spencer currently served 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 other 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.

“Wendy Spencer embodies every quality I hoped for in our next president. 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.” - Wendy Walker, President Emeritus

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Ms. Wendy A. Walker Apr 1989 - Mar 2017
Senior Staff
Ms. Christine E Lucas Vice President, Services
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 6
Part Time Staff 5
Staff Retention Rate % 87.5
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 600
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 No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Beth Kigel
Company Affiliation Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce
Board Term July 2017 to June 2018
Board Chair Email beth@pbnchamber.com
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. Dominic Calabro Florida TaxWatch, Inc.
Mr. David Capece Sparxoo
Mrs. Terin Cremer Barbas Cremer, PLLC
Mr. John Dailey Leon County
Ms. Tina Ekblad Morris-Depew Associates, Inc.
Mr. Carlos Garcia Hancock Askew & Co., LLP
Mr. Jim Gilmore Infinity Global Solutions, LLC
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
Mr. Lawrence Lyman Tactical Electronics Corporation
Ms. Roymi Membiela Baptist Health South Florida
Ms. Pam Rauch Florida Power & Light Company
Ms. Wendy Spencer Leadership Florida
Mr. Michael Stephens Hillsborough County Aviation Authority
Mr. Jeff Wahlen Ausley & McMullen
Ms. Vicki Weber Of Counsel, Hopping Green & Sams, P.A.
Mr. Mark Wilson Florida Chamber of Commerce
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 3
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 10
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Board Meeting Attendance % 89
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 95
Standing Committees
Program / Program Planning
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization
Our Governance Committee, led by Randall Vitale and Terin Cremer, had several major goals for the 2016-17 program year, all of which were achieved.  Highlights included:
1. Complete bylaws review: 
The committee completed a comprehensive review of the bylaws and proposed recommended amendments to the Board on March 11, 2017 with further changes recommended and approved at the May 17, 2017 board meeting.
2. Update Board expectation document: presented to the Board in conjunction with the Leadership Team Retreat at July 30, 2016 Board meeting in Winter Park.
3. Develop board orientation program that can be repeated each year: Presented at the July 30, 2016 Board meeting in Winter Park.
4. Update and publish Policy Manual for policies adopted or amended in prior year: Presented at the July 2016 Leadership Team Retreat.
5. Review policy manual for changes as appropriate The committee presented recommendations to the Board throughout the year and the Board Adopted policy changes in the areas of Social Media, Recruitment and Selection, Class B Member Conduct, Form 990 review and approval, Partnerships and Finances.
6. Update, approve and publish revised Connect Florida Operating Rules: A revised Connect Florida Operating Agreement was recommended by the Connect Florida Advisory Board and then approved by the Leadership Florida Board of Directors on March 11, 2017.
7. Consider whether the process of naming committee chairs and nominating officers and regional council members can be improved or clarified in the bylaws; make proposals for Board consideration as appropriate: The committee considered these issues and recommended bylaw amendments that were approved by the Board for consideration by the members at the Annual Meeting.
8. Consider the appropriateness of updating class applications with a voluntary question on diversity and propose appropriate changes for Board consideration: A question was included in the applications for Cornerstone Class XXXVI and Connect Class VIII.
9. Continue to refine Social Media Policy and submit recommended changes to Board for consideration:  The Board approved changes to the Social Media Policy on January 11, 2017.
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month July
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month June
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $2,640,736.00
Projected Expenses $2,633,880.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations Yes
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $1,338,981.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
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 Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$199,861$73,008$0
Individual Contributions$117,054$112,570$158,910
Investment Income, Net of Losses$34,035$27,639$31,163
Membership Dues$206,990$0$235,563
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$191,069$326,268$53,858
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$1,738,146$1,397,425$1,183,125
Administration Expense$20,794$114,713$55,712
Fundraising Expense$56,356$74,170$66,258
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.081.161.17
Program Expense/Total Expenses96%88%91%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue18%40%42%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$3,244,825$3,127,698$3,018,981
Current Assets$1,391,518$1,755,529$1,675,772
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$384,686$408,939$570,142
Total Net Assets$2,860,139$2,718,759$2,448,839
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnnual Class Program Tuition $597,799Sponsorships $634,750Annual Class Program Tuition $445,367
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSponsorships $472,656Annual Class Program Tuition $515,700Sponsorships $417,500
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountConference Registrations $270,160Conference Registrations $229,570Membership Dues $235,563
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $150,001 - $175,000
Tax Credits Yes
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities3.624.292.94
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
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. Financial information for 2016 was taken from the draft Federal 990 and audited financial statements.
Nonprofit Leadership Florida Statewide Community Foundation, Inc.
Address 215 S. Monroe St
Ste 710
Tallahassee, FL 32301 1858
Phone 850 521-1220 101