December 2, “Government Day,” marked the end of Leadership Marco 2015.
On their last day of class, students spent the day learning about Collier County government, both in Naples and on Marco Island. Speakers at the Collier County Government Center included Collier County Manager Leo Ochs, Commissioner Donna Fiala and Supervisor of Elections Jennifer Edwards. Presentations were also given by the county’s director of zoning, tax collector, property appraiser and clerk of courts.
Circuit Judge Lauren L. Brodie met with students in her courtroom, asking them to think about “how to make a difference” in the world. She described a few of her most challenging cases, and encouraged students to “help the future” through programs like D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education),which help educate schoolchildren about the dangers of drug use.
Later in the morning, students met with representatives from emergency management and the sheriff’s office to get an overview of emergency operations in the county. Back on Marco Island, after a presentation and tour at Mackle Park, students met at City Hall with City Council Chair Bob Brown and City Manager Roger Hernstadt, who answered questions about local government. The information-packed day was generously sponsored by Tom Wagor, First Florida Integrity Bank.
Leadership Marco 2015 graduates will have the chance to use their experience to improve on the 2016 leadership classes, which they will organize and plan. Immediately following their last class, students were already at work selecting their co-chairs for next year, and finalizingthe 2016 class dates and assignments. Classmates chose Marco Island Academy’s Principal Melissa Scott and Marco Beach Ocean Resort’s Lynn Alexander to co-chair the 2016 Leadership Marco class. Melissa told us that although she “will miss her class,” she is “really excited about next year.” Graduation for the 2015 class will take place in January 2016.
The Leadership Marco program is organized by Marco Island’s Chamber of Commerce. Full day sessions include classes on: agriculture, culture/real estate, education, government, healthcare/fire and rescue, history, hospitality/tourism, law enforcement and media.
Although the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce has already received many applications for Leadership Marco 2016, there are still a few spaces available. To learn about the Leadership Marco program, including application information, contact the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce at 239-394-7549.