Distinguished Leadership Awards


Leadership Tallahassee continues the tradition of saluting the best in business, professional, and community leadership with the Distinguished Leadership Awards.  This program is a benefit for the YLT program.

This year’s 21st annual awards were held at the Univeristy Center Club before a record group of over 400 attendees.

“We are proud of the hard work and positive contributions these business and community leaders have made in our area and were honored to recognize them,” said Barbara Boone, Executive Director of Leadership Tallahassee.  “The Distinguished Leadership Awards was a success once again this year, with another sold-out ballroom and a great swell of passion and excitement for the award winners.”

This year’s deserving leaders were honored in each of the following four categories:

Lifetime Leadership AwardMrs. Althemese Barnes | John C. Riley House Museum
Leadership PacesetterBetsy Couch | Knight Creative Communities Institute
Servant LeadershipDebie Leonard | Thomas Howell Ferguson PA CPAs
Leader of the YearMicah Widen | Domi Ventures, LLC

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s ceremony a smashing success!


Leader of the Year

Awarded to an individual whose ideas, vision and hard work achieved significant, tangible benefits to the community within the past year.  Such work could include a focus on a particular initiative or project that improved the quality of life of Tallahasseeans.

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS: Carrol Dadisman, William G. Smith, Jr., R.B. Holmes, John Lewis, Chuck Mitchell, Rick Kearney, Kathy Archibald/Mark Mustian, Randy Hanna, Ron Sachs, Henree Martin, Kay Freeman, Bill Montford, Mike Pate, James Ammons, Jake Myddleton/John Parker , Kelly Otte, Cheryl Phoenix, Jim Murdaugh, Vince Long, Wayne Tedder

Leadership Pacesetter Award

This individual is blazing a trail for others to follow by quickly engaging in community leadership activities – and achieving tangible results – as a relative newcomer to Tallahassee or at a relatively young age (under age 50).  Individuals with less than 10 years of community involvement would be eligible for this award.

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS:  Karen Moore, Arnett Flowers, Flecia Braswell, Ken Armstrong, Earle Lee, Susie Busch-Transou, Glenda Thornton, Beth Langford, John Green, Bill Law, Nina Ashenafi,  Mark O’Bryant, Daryl Parks, Kim Moore, Jaimi Wacksman,  R. Jai Gillum, Sha’Ron James, Cecilia Homison, Melanie Lee, Gloria Pugh

Servant Leadership Award

This individual has demonstrated consistent community leadership and begun to achieve results beyond a single field of endeavor, combining efforts in business and non profit organizations.  Individuals with 10 to 25 years of community involvement would be considered for this award.

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS:  Bryan Desloge, Lane Green, Steve Evans, Gil Ziffer, Glen Davidson, Steve Uhlfelder, Jeff Wahlen, Sean Pittman, Jerry Osteryoung, Michael Sheridan, Lawton Langford, Fred Shelfer

Lifetime Leadership Award

This award recognizes an individual who has made significant, tangible leadership contributions to the Tallahassee community for more than 25 years.  Emphasis will be placed on individuals who have made substantive achievements in the career and community arenas.

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS:  Godfrey Smith, Grace Dansby, Bobby Bowden, George Langford, Kate Ireland, William Foster, Ken Boutwell, Stan Marshall, Sybil Mobley, Ray Solomon, Budd Bell, Alexander J. Brickler, Duby Ausley, Marjorie Turnbull, Sandy D’Alemberte, John Hogan, Martha Barnett, T.K.Wetherell, Al Lawson, Kim Williams