Director: Cindy LaConte
Sponsor: Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce
In the fall of 1989, community leaders were asked
to start the first LEADERship program for Martin
County. Decision-makers from all professions were
invited to serve on the Charter Planning Committee.
Everyone asked said “yes” and felt this was such
an important program for making a better base
of leaders in Martin County.
The Program Director wanted as much information
about the other programs around the country; so
becoming a member of the National Association
for Community Leadership gave us the networking
and materials to learn. Visiting neighboring counties
and reviewing their programs also helped in the
planning stages of scheduling our topics, length
of programs and retreats.
From the National membership materials, the idea
of having task force assignments throughout the
program proved to be very beneficial. Our applications
asked the applicants for the three most pressing
problems facing Martin County today. The four
problems that were listed most on the applications
were then utilized to divide the class into four
groups. Each group was given one of the problems,
which they worked on during the next eight months.
At the closing session, they were asked to present
the problem and possible solutions to solve the
problem. This approach was successful in giving
the class a challenge, learning to work together,
being able to carry this project on as alumni
and asking the community to participate in the
Some of the task force assignment projects resulted
in these actions:
- St. Lucie River Initiative Clean-up
- Education Foundation was formed
- Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
- Campaign to get people out to vote
- Youth Leadership Program
- Walk-In-Someone Else’s Shoes started the neighborhood
class members also made us realize that they wanted
more than we could put into day sessions. We came
up with “homework’ and they loved it. Each session
had some extra work to do, either as a group or
individually, that had to be accomplished before
the next month’s session. This was successful
because it gave us an opportunity to expose the
class to more facilities, people in the workforce
and networking with each other.
Our program is based completely on volunteer
effort except for the Program Director who is
an employee of the Stuart/Martin County Chamber
of Commerce. We have been able to keep the application
fees down to $895 thanks to the local businesses
who sponsor and host many of our sessions. Our
Leadership Alumni Association offers one program
scholarship a year to a person who needs financial
assistance. This is not offered on the application,
but is available if the Program Director has someone
who requests scholarship information.
The success of the program, now in its 26th
year, is reflected in the broad base of leaders
who have gone through the program and chosen to
make a difference. CEO’s of many businesses and
Non-Profit Organizations have been through the
program, along with elected officials such as
City and County Commissioners, Sheriff, City Police
Chief, Property Appraiser, Clerk of the Court,
Superintendent of Schools, School Board Members
and many State Legislators.
Approximately 80% of our alumni are actively involved
in County and City government and local non-profit
organizations. We feel that your leadership is
just starting when you graduate from the program.
Our alumni association was formed the first year
with officers, mission statement and by-laws.
The Board of Directors meet monthly, and the general
membership meets for lunch every other month on
the even numbered months (Feb-02, Apr-04, Jun-06,
etc.). There are also a number of other events,
socials, after program day sessions, family picnics,
and a Hob Nob. Luncheons are generally networking
functions with a guest speaker on a topic of interest
The only project they coordinate as a group
is the Martin Youth LEADERship Program for high
school students, which is in its fifteenth year.
They have one fundraising event annually to help
sponsor a four year college scholarship offered
to a youth graduate of this program. The fundraiser is a fun social event, which varies each year.
For more information on LEADERship Alumni go to http://www.leadershipmcalumni.com/.
The Martin Youth LEADERship program is an opportunity for high school sophomores and juniors throughout Martin County to develop and enhance their leadership skills. Students must apply and approximately 35 are selected to participate in this comprehensive nine-month program that is modeled after LEADERship Martin County.
Upon completion, these Leaders have learned about their community including history, government, business, arts and culture, criminal justice and the environment. Class members are given a rare opportunity to reach their highest leadership potential through sessions focusing on Covey’s Effective Habits and other leadership enhancing activities. Every effort is made to select a racially, gender diverse class representing various levels of leadership experience.
For more information on Youth LEADERSHIP visit http://www.leadershipmcalumni.com/youth_leadership.asp
Click Here for the 2016-17 Martin Youth LEADERship Application.
Please print a copy and submit the completed application and 3 recommendation forms to your school’s guidance office or your school’s Martin Youth LEADERship representatives: CLARK: Lynn Krieger – CHD128, JBHS: Mike Sawtelle – Gym, MCHS: Barbara Scharlau – Rm G1, SFHS: Amanda Shearer – Rm T33, PINE: Janet Pacifico.
Applications Due May 27, 2016 (FIRM)
If you have any questions or prefer a copy in WORD to complete electronically, contact Diana Bruton at (772) 215-3613.