January 2024 Guest Editor, Chirag Shah (LT 41)

Greetings LT-World! I’m Chirag Shah, proud member of Leadership Tallahassee Class 41-DERFUL, and I’m delighted to take on the role of Guest Editor for this edition of LT News.

Embarking on the Leadership Tallahassee journey was initially daunting for me. I grappled with self-doubt, questioning whether my qualifications and network were robust enough. However, nudged by the encouragement of my team and the wise counsel of past LT-ers Vicki Bradley and Jeremy Cohen, I mustered the courage to apply. Looking back, it stands as one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve made in my professional and community advocacy journey.

My primary quest within the Class of 41-DERFUL has been to cultivate meaningful connections destined to evolve into enduring friendships. Post-college, forging such bonds becomes increasingly intricate. Hence, I approached this experience with an open mindset—ready to engage with everyone, embrace every opportunity, and push the boundaries of my introverted self.

The diversity within my class has been enlightening. Many faces I may not have crossed paths with, at least not immediately. Yet, the Leadership Tallahassee experience has illuminated the shared threads that bind us. In just a few short months, we’ve navigated program days, shared coffees and lunches, engaged in one-on-one discussions, cheered on the FSU football team, and much more. These collective experiences have woven a tapestry of personal connections, assuring me that, despite life’s rollercoaster, my classmates genuinely care about my well-being.To those teetering on the edge due to shyness, fear, nervousness, or uncertainty about their worthiness for this opportunity—take the plunge. To those who applied but didn’t secure a spot, let that not be a deterrent; apply again. The growth and fulfillment awaiting you through Leadership Tallahassee are well worth the leap of faith.


I extend my deepest gratitude to Barbara, Marcus, Lily, Gatlyn, and the entire LT Board/Committee for their unwavering support and tireless efforts on behalf of me and my Class.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to the esteemed alumni of past LT Classes. Your support and mentorship have been invaluable pillars upon which we lean.

And to my fellow 41DERFULS, you are cherished. The bond we’ve formed is beyond words, and I want each one of you to know—I love you all.

In conclusion, this journey with Leadership Tallahassee has not only broadened my professional horizons but has also enriched my personal life with enduring connections. It serves as a testament to the transformative power of stepping outside one’s comfort zone, embracing opportunities, and building bridges with diverse souls on a shared journey of growth and community impact.