Leadership Marco is a program of ten experience-based sessions that provide the participants with a behind the scenes look at various businesses, organizations and other services in the Marco Island area. The topics and subjects of interest include the Marco Island Historical Museum, local media, hospitality and tourism, education, parks and recreation, law enforcement, culture, real estate, heath care, fire/rescue, agriculture and the environment, and local government. Leadership Marco is sponsored and organized by the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce staff, while sessions are coordinated by the previous year’s Leadership Marco graduates. Participants have found the program to be invaluable for gaining knowledge and appreciation of the community combined with the bonus of networking opportunities and new friendships.
The graduating Class of 2017 includes a select group of individuals who have already proven themselves to be dynamic leaders, active volunteers and community trailblazers. They now commence with even greater enthusiasm to be the movers and shakers of Marco Island’s future. They are, in alphabetical order:
Mohammed “Mo” Ahmed – Front of
House Manager, CJ’s on the Bay
David Batiato – Deputy Chief, Marco
Island Fire Rescue Department
Stefan Bolsen – Managing Broker,
Coldwell Banker Marco Island office
Wanda Burson – Active member of
Sunrise Rotary, Christmas Island
Style and Marco Island Sail and Power
Lisa Conley – Local reporter/journalist
Heather Hall – Director of Membership
and Marketing, Island Country Club
(Heather is the daughter of Leadership
Marco graduates Stan and Donna
Samantha “Sam” Kopren – Manager
of United Church of Marco Island’s
Kaitlen Magdalener – Charge Nurse,
Marco Island Urgent Care Center/
NCH Healthcare System
Thomas Mann – President/CEO, All
Event Party Rental
Megan McShane – Social media/
Membership Sales Manager, Fiddler’s
Sue Olszak – American Cancer Society,
Senior Development Manager,
Dr. Gerald Swiacki – Retired surgeon,
Former Marco Island Parks and
Recreation Advisory Committee Chair,
active community volunteer
Abby Yetter – Founder, CEO and Chief
Consultant of Bright Ideas Small
Leadership Marco alumni continue to give back to our community by actively participating in Souper Bowl Marco, Wet Paint Live and the Marco Island Paddle Challenge. These fundraising events help to provide continuing education scholarships to worthy, commendable high school students each year.
When asked if they would recommend participation in Leadership Marco to friends and colleagues, alumni have enthusiastically responded with a resounding “Yes!” Donna Niemczyk, Administrative Coordinator of the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce, explained the application and selection process for the program. “We are contacted throughout the year from people interested in participating in the next year’s class,” said Niemczyk. “It is mostly by word of mouth from past classmates. In March, we send out an invitation to all interested. It is a first-come, first-serve basis by submission of the application. We have between 12 to 14 classmates each year.” Tuition is $500 per student and includes all activities, group transportation when necessary, admission tickets for various activities, lunches and snacks. Participants must commit to be on time, attend all scheduled sessions and engage in active participation.
The graduation ceremony will take place on January 27 from 6 to 10 PM at the Marco Island Yacht Club. The installation of officers for the 2018 Chamber of Commerce Board will also take place at the event.
To learn more, please visit www.marcoislandchamber.org or call 239-394-7549.