Learn More About LEADERship!

To learn more about the Martin County LEADERship Program contact Cindy LaConte

Learn the tools to help you make a difference in Martin County. This esteemed education program guides participants through an in-depth look into our community, and enhance leadership skills.

LEADERship News & History

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 solution.

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 visits

The 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.

The success of the program, now in its 33rd 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.

We have been able to keep the application fees down to $1,695 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.

Alumni Association

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 to maintain class relationships, as well as form new ones with other class members. 

The alumni includes officers, a mission statement and by-laws. The Board of Directors meet monthly, and the general membership meets for lunch and other special events throughout the year.

Some of the other events have included after hours socials, celebrity chef cookoffs, professional baseball games, family picnics, hob nobs and more. Some of the alumni events are also fundraisers benefitting the benefitting the Nancy Sailer Youth LEADERship Scholarship Fund. Luncheons are generally networking functions with a guest speaker on a topic of interest or concern.

The only project they coordinate as a group is the Martin Youth LEADERship Program for high school students, which is in its sixteenth 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/.

Martin Youth LEADERship Program

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.

Contact Information:

Chair: Diana Bruton, Stuartrealtor@gmail.com or 772-215-3613

Coordinator: Jeanne Dunn, martinyouthleadership@gmail.com or 772-486-4695

Teacher Liaisons:

MCHS: Brett Hawkins, hawkinb@martin.k12.fl.us or 772-341-1734

JBHS: Marianne Vinette, vinettm@martin.k12.fl.us or 954-292-1058

SFHS: Jeanine Bushman, bushmaj@martin.k12.fl.us or 772-260-1471

CALC: Denisha Bonds, dbonds@irsc.edu or 910-494-9599

If you have any questions or prefer a copy in WORD to complete electronically, contact Diana Bruton at (772) 215-3613.

For more information on Youth LEADERSHIP visit http://leadershipmcalumni.com/youth-leadership/