Leadership Bonita

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The Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to the proactive, professional development of our community’s future leaders. These are people excelling in their industry and setting their sights on leadership roles within their organizations, in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It is important to guide these individuals and help them develop into world-class leaders who can make positive contributions in our region.

Leadership Bonita LogoThe Chamber is proud to facilitate the Leadership Bonita Program. Leadership Bonita is in its 19th year, and has graduated more than 300 leaders. The program’s purpose is to provide quality leadership training and introduce participants to how the interconnected engine of our community runs. The nine-month program kicks off with a two-day training retreat, complete with DISC personality assessments, group exercises, inspiring presenters and more. Following the retreat, participants embark on nine day-long discovery trips to get behind-the-scenes looks at the systems our region has in place for infrastructure, healthcare, social justice, the arts, and more.

Applications for the 2018-2019 program will be available in February 2018 on this webpage.

For more information contact Cindy Burgess at (239) 992-2943 and Cindy@BonitaSpringsChamber.com.




Linda Hammer“Leadership Bonita far exceeded my expectations!  It was a very educational, engaging and interactive program, from the initial weekend retreat through to graduation.  I not only gained confidence, but I have used my increased knowledge many times over the course of the past year. I finished the course understanding more about the leader I am along with the development of my leadership philosophy.  Most importantly, I developed relationships with other exceptional leaders scattered throughout the community.  I knew to expect something special, but it was far more than I imagined!”

Linda Hammer, John R. Wood Properties | Class of 2016-17

IMG_4481“I encourage all employers to send their employees to LB.  It’s an experience they will always remember.”

Trish Leonard, IOM, TLC Marketing & Creative Services | Class of 2002-03

“My experience with Leadership Bonita has changed me in so many ways. I now know more about Bonita and how this unique community thrives. I have made lasting relationships with my Leadership class and memories I will cherish. I highly encourage anyone and everyone to join Leadership Bonita – you will not regret it. You get to experience things in a whole new way.”

Shady Wheeler, TLC Marketing and Creative Services | Class of 2016-17

“The Bonita Leadership Program opened my eyes to what our community has to offer, not only recreationally, but professionally.  In our geographical area we are blessed to be surrounded by many captains of their industries.  In participating in the Bonita Leadership Program you not only get to learn about them but you have the opportunity to spend time with them in ways that not many people will ever experience.  Leadership Classmates become friends for life.  This program was an incredible experience.” 

Stan Geer, PGA, Bentley Village Golf Club | Class of 2014-15

Photo By Brian Tietz

“I will be a lifelong supporter of the Leadership Bonita (LB) program.  It gave me an insight to my community that I could not have gotten anywhere else.  You have access to people and places that you would never have known unless you participated in LB.  Even more importantly, you form a bond with your classmates that give you a network of individuals to look to for help with anything – personal or professional.  I highly recommend this program and tell anyone about it who is looking to get involved and make a difference.”

Billie Porter, FineMark National Bank | Class of 2012-13

Lora Taylor“I’m a proud graduate of the 2011/2012 Leadership Bonita Program. I enjoyed the unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and witness firsthand how our community operates.  The program encourages participants to collaborate through team building and strategic planning, which strengthens the networks between both the private and public sectors. I encourage professionals in leadership capacities, to consider participating in the program. It was a good experience with valuable lessons.” 

Lora Taylor, City of Bonita Springs | Class of 2011-12

“More than “worth it”, I made friends and contacts that will be a part of my life for, well, forever!”

Bobbi Bird, Meals of Hope | Class of 2008-9

“I joined the Chamber in 2001 as a new CPA in the area. I didn’t know anyone. I got on a few committees and went through Leadership (Class of 2003) with 23 other business people-many of whom I had never met or seen before. Through Leadership, we had an immediate bonding or common interest. These people became instant friends, and remain so, and they introduced me to other people they knew (and vice versa) at After-Hour events, etc. I made many new friends and picked up many new clients as a result of going through Leadership. Of course, I also learned a lot about Bonita, too!!” 

Jon Davis, Jon E. Davis, CPA, P.A. | Class of 2002-3

“The program has been instrumental for me in both my career, as a Vice President for EverBank, and my personal life.  The program showed me the potential I had to be a leader at work and in my community.  As a member of the Executive Committee of the Chamber Board of Directors, I continually give back by participating on several committees i.e. Leadership Alumni, Accreditation, Holiday Party, and B2B Expo.  I am also a member of the American Business Women’s Association and the Women’s Council Realtors.  I’m a past board member of the Literacy Council of Bonita Springs and I participate annually on a United Way Allocations Committee.  Welcome to Leadership Bonita!  You will always treasure this experience” 

Jeanne Burmeister, EverBank | Class of 2006-7