April 2024 Guest Editor, Lisa Bretz (LT 36)

Ah, it is Springtime in Tallahassee! I have been fortunate to call Tallahassee home for over 33 years where my roots are firmly planted. I tell people I came here to complete my degree at Florida State University, but I stayed for love. I am forever grateful for being drawn to a beautiful town where I met my husband of almost 30 years, completed my college education, established a career working in the field of aging, raised two children, and became part of the Leadership Tallahassee family through my experience in Class 36.

LT afforded me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge about our community by learning from leaders in local government, businesses, education, health and safety, arts, and local non-profit organizations and engaging in healthy discussions with my classmates and community leaders on issues affecting us as citizens of Tallahassee. We are so fortunate to have great thinkers and doers in our midst, ensuring Tallahassee continues to grow and thrive through innovation, think tank exploration, and collaboration.

One of the most rewarding outcomes from my LT journey has been the continuous introduction to some of our amazing community trustees who have become mentors and friends. I cannot go without name dropping the dynamic duo of United Partners for Human Services’ (UPHS) Amber Tynan and Lashawn Gordon, Dr. Gabrielle Gabrielli, Jocelyne Fliger, Mickey Moore, and Alyce Lee Stansbury. All LT graduates themselves who have invested their time in helping me to grow into a competent leader. These relationships have empowered me to learn how to become the best version of myself. A change agent at heart, I am committed to supporting the success of the organizations that I get to work closely with in the fourteen surrounding counties for the common mission of helping older adults age in place with supportive services and nutrition programs which help them stay healthy, safe, and independent. Leadership is much easier when you surround yourself with people who have walked a similar path and are willing to share the strategies that have helped them form their own leadership style.

LT is not a one and done experience. It has helped me grow in service to the community through its many avenues of continued engagement. I am diligent in completing the “willingness to serve” survey graduates receive each year. In doing so, I have served as co-chair for two Tallahassee Active Lifelong Learners (TALL) Human Services program days and chair of Human Services Program Day for LT 38. This year I am proud to serve as Chair of the Planning Committee for Building Better Boards, an LT signature event. We hope you will mark your calendar and share information about the event which is coming up on May 14th. Early bird registration is going on now! Be on the lookout for more information through the LT website.