By: Christine Ross, MBA, MS, CCE, IOM, President & CEO, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director, Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council
“It is the best, most compelling, intensive, thought provoking program you will ever experience,” noted Bob Rosier, CEO of Rosier Insurance and Chairman of the Chamber Board. Have you considered participating in the Leadership Bonita program? This very special program is now entering its 18th year in existence in the region and boasts over 350 graduates. Our Chamber’s special events department is now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 Class which can be downloaded from www.BonitaSpringsChamber.com. Click on About the Chamber and then Leadership Bonita Program. Applications are due April 22, 2016 to Cindy@BonitaSpringsChamber.com.
If you are unfamiliar with the program, let me give you the low down. Leadership Bonita is a nine-month educational and leadership development program that dives into the many facets of our community including, government, education, economic development, healthcare, tourism, arts and culture, media, public safety, and social issues. The program is designed to hone leadership skills, create the opportunity for personal growth, and help participants learn more about Bonita Springs, Lee and Collier County, and our Southwest Florida region. It prepares our next generation of leaders for community engagement and service, is both fun and informative, and provides for one-on-one networking with top community leaders.
Another aspect of the program you may not initially anticipate are the deep relationships developed with classmates during the year-long program. Typically a Leadership Bonita class has 25-30 members so you can image the strong bonds you build as a team and individually with fellow classmates. Often, these folks in your class will turn into career-long confidants, mentors, and even friends. Then, once you’ve graduated, you’ll be to alumni events and become part of the broader network of alumni. Don’t be frighten
ed when at your first alumni event you hear another class loudly proclaims that, “The class of XYZ is the best class ever.” Yes, it gets competitive.
If you would like to learn more about this program from our Chamber staff or even talk to a Leadership Bonita alumni to get the inside scoop, give us a call at (293) 992-2943. We will connect you!