Leadership Tallahassee conducted a half day, non-partisan, non-political, invitation-only event on November 30, to help educate and inspire 75 citizens in the diverse opportunities for public service engagement through elected or appointed office.
This first ever “Willingness to Serve” forum began with a brief welcome from Bart Wells, Sperry Construction and Chair-Elect of Leadership Tallahassee, followed by an inspirational servant leader keynote address by former County Commissioner and former State Representative Marjorie Turnbull, who was introduced by City Commissioner Gil Ziffer.
The first panel discussion led by Rick Moore, CEO of Moore Bass Consulting, heard from City Manager Anita Favors-Thompson, County Administrator Vince Long, and Assistant School Superintendent Dr. Barbara Wills on the opportunities for community service through an appointment to one of the many City, County, and School District committees and boards where citizen involvement helps to formulate or implement public policy.
Ron Sachs, CEO of Ron Sachs Communications, led the second panel which consisted of our three newest local government elected officials, County Commissioner Kristin Dozier, County Commissioner Nick Maddox, and City Commissioner Nancy Miller, along with Tallahassee Democrat State Editor Paul Flemming and political consultant Steve Vancore on what you need to know before considering a run for elected office.
During lunch, most of the morning’s speakers plus County Commissioner John Dailey, former School Board member and Foundation for Leon County Schools Executive Director Sheila Costigan, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Rick Minor, and Chamber President Sue Dick met in small groups for further discussions and questions regarding potential public service.
The program concluded with a debrief from Ron Sachs and concluding comments from forum leader Floyd Self, former Leadership Tallahassee Board Chair and an attorney with Messer, Caparello & Self. “Today’s event is a natural outgrowth of the mission of Leadership Tallahassee, which is to build a diverse network of emerging and experienced leaders committed to improving the community,” Self said. “The overwhelming response to this event and the comments we received expressing a strong desire for similar future events demonstrate that we are fortunate to live in a community where so many people are interested in public service.” The forum committee included Floyd Self; Leslie Smith Kathy Bye, Leadership Tallahassee Board Chair and Barbara Boone, Leadership Tallahassee Executive Director. The cost of this event was generously underwritten by several local individuals and businesses.