PHOTOS: Leadership Marco alumni step out at Guy Harvey’s

Leadership Marco, the Chamber of Commerce program that gets Marco Islanders together to learn about what makes the Island tick and meet their fellow leaders, kicked off its new season on July 28, with a new class. Tuesday evening, all the Leadership Marco alumni since the first class in 2002 were invited to get together and schmooze a little.

About three dozen Leaders answered the call, and showed up at the bar at Guy Harvey’s Island Grill in the Esplanade. Sandi Trapasso got things started, taking roll to see which class turned out the most members. With eight attendees, the class of ’09 won out, beating even the current group, who were well-represented with seven members on hand. Debra Sanders kept the flame of ’05 alive, and only the class of ’03 was a no-show.

In addition to imbibing liquid refreshment, catching up and networking, the Leadership Marco group was working to collect funds for school supplies that the Chamber will pass along to students at Tommie Barfield Elementary School, Lely High School and the Shelter for Abused Women and Children. People kept walking up to the Chamber’s Donna Niemczyk and stuffing $20 bills into her hand.

“We have a tremendous mound of school supplies at the Chamber office,” said Niemczyk, stretching her hand up to indicate how high.

Don McDonald, Leadership Marco class of 2007, brought his contribution for school supplies along. “I gained a tremendous amount of local knowledge in the Leadership program,” he said. “You find out how things really work on the Island.”

David Caruso, class of 2006, agreed. “This was a great program — a once in a lifetime experience we’ll never forget.”

Class of 2009 alum Chef Laura Owen, of CJ’s on the Bay, said it was one of the most incredible experiences of her life. “Our class wants to get all the alumni together as a group for the good of Marco Island,” she said. “You put these people together, it’s a force to be reckoned with.”

The Leadership Marco class of 2010 has held their kickoff event, attended a team-building exercise as well as their own cocktail party. On Aug. 11, they had History Day, led by Craig Woodward, at the Marco Island Historical Museum. The group will continue to meet through December, with graduation in early January.

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Comments » 3

RayPray writes:

"get together and schmooze a little."

This is fine. These folks obviously have a lot of spare time to kill.

But "Leadership"?

Nobody endorsed by our revered Chamber of Commerce has anything to teach about true leadership.

Can leadership really be taught?

Did Alexander the Great, Napoleon, or even Obama take Chamber of Commerce approved joke courses in this area?

If anybody has long experience teaching leadership, it has to be the Marines....

Yet the ragtag Taliban is making monkeys of them all up and down Afghanistan.

Maybe these people should take their course with the Taliban....

Where did the Taliban get its remarkable leadership skills????

CaptDononMarco writes:

RayPray, actually I wasn't even going to answer your comment but I am an alumni of Leadership Marco and yes it was fun to get together and schmooze, but we ALL work for a living and give up a day twice a month for several months to learn how our community and county work, everything from local history, to the fire department, police department, ymca, county court system and government and lastly your tax dollars at work and see how some of these organizations and departments actually provide the services that they do with the funding that they have to exist on. It's not free, we pay to attend this program and Yes leadership can be taught, you just need the enthusiasm to want to learn. Maybe you should step up to the plate and call the chamber to sign up for Leadership Marco and see if you can stand up to the demands it puts on the volunteers. This leadership class is not a joke but your letter sure is a joke

RayPray writes:

"Yes leadership can be taught, you just need the enthusiasm...."

So Leadership == Enthusiasm?

Now I get it.

Is that's why things have been going so swimmingly well these past 10 years both with the bubbling cauldrons of enthusiasm represented by our nitwits in Washington and our esteemed City Council -- check your accelerating tax and water bills lately?

You state: "RayPray, actually I wasn't even going to answer your comment...."

You weren't going to answer my comment.

Then you did anyhow.

I wonder -- since you have, as you state, been galvanized by enthusiasm into this paroxysm of Leadership -- why the hesitation???

"About three dozen Leaders answered the call, and showed up at the bar at Guy Harvey’s...."

Sounds like fun for those with a lot of free time.

Why not just have fun schmoozing at the bar and drop all this silly Leadership prattle?

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