Leadership Institute

The Division of Workforce Development's Leadership Institute promotes the development and training of existing and emerging leaders in education, public, private and non-profit organizations. Through its tailored programs and services, the Institute is committed to identifying and nurturing the next generation of leaders.

Our Leadership Institute is integrally linked to the Division’s Corporate Solutions. Whereas Corporate Solutions addresses the needs of the organization through the use of a variety of services, the Leadership Institute addresses the needs of developing leaders.
The Leadership Institute’s primary mission is to improve leadership skills, behaviors and competencies that lead to better and more decisive decision making through training.  Our leadership training is designed to meet the needs of individuals who are at different stages in their leadership development with a menu of programs that include the following:

Building Legacies:
Women Who Lead, Serve, and Inspire

The Building Legacies Women's Leadership Summit was created to celebrate women that are making a substantive impact in our community.  This year, based on the overwhelming feedback from past participants, a decision was made to turn the single day event into a series providing four unique half-day leadership sessions.  

This year's inaugural series is entitled Women Who Lead, Serve, and Inspire.  Each session developed for this series captures the sheer essence of the key role that women play in shaping organizations, communities, and the next generation of amazing leaders. 

Sponsors for the 2017 series include Club 25, Jim Moran Institute, Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship, Merrill Lynch, Prime Meridian Bank, and Thurman Law Firm. 

Session Information

Series Kickoff (3/1/2017)

This session will highlight women whose life journeys demonstrate the bold steps they have taken to lead, serve, and inspire.  Their stores filled with passion and determination will not only spark conversation, but more importantly create a call to action of building legacies one woman at a time.

Date:  March 1, 2017
Location:  TCC Center for Innovation, 350 South Duval Street
Time:  8:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

Keynote Speaker:  
The Honorable Gwen Graham, Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives

Panel Presenters:  
Sally Bradshaw, Midtown Reader
Susan Fiorito, Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship
Lila Jaber, Gunster Oakey
Dr. Alma Littles, Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Board of Directors

Women Who Lead (6/7/2017)

This session will focus on women leaders who possess a track record of success that has profoundly impacted our community.  The audience will be challenged to identify an area where they would like to make their mark.

Date:  June 7, 2017
Location:  TCC Center for Innovation, 350 South Duval Street
Time:  8:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

Keynote Speaker:  
Heidi Otway, SalterMitchell, Inc.

Panel Presenters:  
Monesia Brown, Walmart 
Sara Murdaugh, TCC 1st Lady
Grace Robinson, Gadsden Art Center & Museum

Women Who Serve (9/6/2017)

This session will focus on women who serve by giving back through their time, talent and/or treasures.  Attendees will hear firsthand why service matters and how our speakers have incorporated it into their lives in such a powerful way.

Date:  September 6, 2017
Location:  TCC Center for Innovation, 350 South Duval Street
Time:  8:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

Keynote Speaker:  
Pamella Butler, Aegis Business Technologies

Panel Presenters:  
Tracey Cohen, Target Print & Mail
Berneice Cox, The Bacall Group
Commissioner Kristin Dozier, Leon County Board of County Commissioners

Women Who Inspire (12/6/2017)

This session will highlight leaders in our community whose body of work has touched and inspired others.  The unique experiences shared by the speakers will without a doubt inspire us all to do more and give more.  Additionally, this session will serve as the 2017 series capstone celebrating the strides that have been made by local women in the areas of leadership, service, and inspiration.

Date:  December 6, 2017
Location:  TCC Center for Innovation, 350 South Duval Street
Time:  8:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

Keynote Speaker:  
Chancellor Madeline Pumariega, Florida Department of Education's Division of Florida Colleges

Whitney Harris, Florida Chamber Foundation
Audra Pittman, Council On Culture & Arts
Carrie Zimmerman, The Zimmerman Agency

Registration Information 

Pre-registration is required.  Limited seating.  $30 per session, or $75 for remaining three-part series.  To register visit: Building Legacies Registration.


Leadership Conversation

The newest offering in our Leadership Institute programming, this half-day event will focus on local community leaders who will share their success stories and words of wisdom.

Date:  May 12, 2017

Location:  TCC Center for Innovation, 350 South Duval Street

Pre-registration is required.  Limited seating. 

Additional details coming soon!


Lessons Over Lunch

This Leadership Institute program is a quarterly series offered mid-day to allow participants an opportunity for professional development training over their lunch break.

The session will be facilitated with group discussion and presentation of various lea​dership​ topics, many of which were suggested by previous program participants as areas of interest for success in business today. Our facilitators have diverse leadership backgrounds from a variety of fields including education, business, and government.

Session Information

Financial Literacy for Florida: Why It Matters (2/23/2017)

Financial education and literacy are important steps to building a strong financial future.  Whether you are saving for college, preparing to purchase your first home, planning for retirement or other life events, this session is for you.  During this session, a representative from the Department of Financial Services will cover money management topics such as saving, budgeting, credit, debt, identity theft and more.  The session will help equip you with the tools necessary to prepare and plan for future financial goals.

Date:  February 23, 2017

Time: ​ 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Location:  Gadsden Center
                  223 Pat Thomas Parkway
                  Quincy, FL 32351

Cost:  $10.00

Registration:   To register for this session, please visit: Lessons February Registration.  Registration is required at least one day prior to the event to ensure adequate materials and supplies.

Facilitator:   Denishia Sword

Denishia Sword serves as the Communications and Outreach Manager for the Florida Department of Financial Services' Division of Consumer Services, representing Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.  Ms. Sword has more than 10 years of communications, marketing, advertising and media relations experience.  She has served as a producer for several television newscasts; an instructor of public speaking at The Florida State University; and has been responsible for media relations for several state agencies.  Ms. Sword has also provided public outreach on behalf of the Florida House of Representatives and has led crisis communications efforts during several natural disasters in Florida.  She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in Communications & Marketing from The Florida State University.

Waking The Leader Within: Skills That Develop Your Leadership Team (4/5/2017)

Applying highly effective leadership skills can be complicated.  That is because effective leadership has many facets: respect, emotional strength, people skills, discipline, vision, momentum, experience, timing and more.  During this discussion, you will learn core leadership principles that can be utilized in all directions; up to the boss, across to your peers and over to those you are leading.  This program will impart practical, actionable steps that can be implemented immediately, as you lead those around you.  This session will help leaders 1. Understand the importance of relational leadership vs positional leadership; 2. Learn the attributes that make successful teams; and 3. Explore the reasons why people quit people not companies. 

Date:  April 5, 2017

Time: ​ 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Location:  Wakulla Center
                  2932 Crawfordville Highway
                  Crawfordville, FL 32327

Cost:  $10.00

Registration:   To register for this session, please visit: Lessons April Registration.  Registration is required at least one day prior to the event to ensure adequate materials and supplies.

Facilitator:  Colene Rogers

Colene Rogers is a member of the John Maxwell Team as a certified speaker, trainer, and coach, as well as a Senior Certified Professional in Human Resources (SHRM-SCP).  Ms. Rogers uses her 25 years of combined experience in sales and human resources to work with companies through executive coaching, leadership training, HR consulting, and performance management.  She has spent time in the classroom, board room, and on stage working for Walt Disney World, Hyatt Hotels, the State of Florida, and both nonprofit and private corporations.  Ms. Roger's passion is helping individuals reach their full potential through effective leadership and personal development, which ultimately advances organizational goals.  She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with degrees in Organizational Communication and Public Speaking.  In addition, she served as the 2016 President of Big Bend SHRM and was awarded both the 2014 Big Bend SHRM Leader of the Year and 2016 HR Florida State Council President of the Year.  


Making Creativity Part of Your Business DNA (6/7/2017)

Having the best services or products is simply not enough these days.  You must also be able to garner attention for your business in a world with hundreds of online, print, TV and social media messages.  This interactive session will focus on ways to expand your creativity to not only create buzz for your business but to also help establish strong, positive relationships that keep customers coming back.  It will also highlight ways to build creativity in your own team that makes work rewarding. 

June 7, 2017

Time: ​ 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Location:  Center for Innovation
                  300 West Pensacola Street
                  Tallahassee, FL 32303

Cost:  $10.00

Registration:   To register for this session, please visit: Lessons June Registration.  Registration is required at least one day prior to the event to ensure adequate materials and supplies.

Facilitator:   M. Michelle Bono

During her 19 years leading the City of Tallahassee's communication efforts, Michelle Bono was renowned for creative ideas including a flash mob on Gaines Street, "Survivor Kits" to residents dealing with the construction of Blair Stone Road, and even a wake for a dying Live Oak tree in front of city hall.  Today, she brings that same passion for creative and measurable results to her own business, providing training, marketing, and project management services to businesses and non-profits alike.  She understands customers, relationships, and media and believes creativity is not only fun but can impact your bottom line.