LeadershipXVIIlogo      Leadership Bartow was established in 1984 to enhance the civic participation of emerging leaders within the Greater Bartow Area.

Every two years, Leadership Bartow selects the best and brightest individuals in the Bartow area to participate in the two-year program oriented to developing leadership skills, fostering understanding of the major issues facing the Bartow area, improving the communications network among leaders of disparate backgrounds and interests and, most importantly, motivating them to contribute through voluntary participation in civic activities.

       Since its inception more than 450 LEADERSHIP BARTOW CLASS MEMBERS have graduated, acquiring the skills, knowledge and passion necessary to participate fully in the life of our community. Moreover, the program has brought together individuals ranging from corporate executives and entrepreneurs, to educators, non-profit managers and public servants. These individuals have created lasting networks that have proved essential to creating a vital, positive community for current and future generations. Leadership Bartow continues to be a vital part of the overall effort to ensure that the pool of talent from which the community can draw its future leaders continues to be renewed.

       The founders of Leadership Bartow shared at least two things in common. First, they understood that the future of Bartow was closely tied to the commitment and expertise of its next generation of leaders. Second, they wanted to ensure that the quality of responses made by future leaders to a wide array of complex social and economic issues in the Greater Bartow Area would be vigorous, well-informed and responsible. Those who have followed them share their commitment and look forward to guiding Leadership Bartow’s strategic direction.


  • To identify and educate potential, emerging and existing community leaders.
  • To promote networking among the membership.
  • To identify community needs and to promote and facilitate community projects.
  • To provide a resource pool for the benefit of the community.


Leadership Bartow targets individuals:

  • With a sincere commitment, motivation and interest to serve in the community;
  • Who have demonstrated commitment by past community activities;
  • Who are interested in seeking, or intending to seek public office, boards, commissions, or key volunteer roles;
  • With potential opportunities for advancement to top leadership positions within their organizations;
  • With the commitment to remain in the Greater Bartow area or are not likely to be transferred in the immediate future;
  • Representing all segments of the community;
  • With demonstrated leadership qualities or potential for development of those qualities;
  • That represent geographic, occupational, gender, ethnic and other diversity.


      In addition to gaining an awareness and understanding of the issues and challenges facing the region, participants in Leadership Bartow can:

  • Refine their personal and public leadership style and skills;
  • Develop diverse contacts and an excellent communication network;
  • Receive recognition for themselves and their organizations for their voluntary civic activities;
  • Access better opportunities for taking an active role in addressing community needs.

Attendance Policy

      To graduate from Leadership Bartow, class members are expected to attend all of the sessions. However, a credit system allows class members some flexibility for unexpected occurrences. Class members must have a minimum of eleven (11) credits at the end of the two-year curriculum in order to graduate from their class. At least six (6) credits must be earned in the first year, and five (5) credits must be earned in the second year. The first-year retreat (September 8, 9, 2016) and the second-year retreat (September 21, 22, 2017) are mandatory, as is the class graduation (May 17, 2018). Sessions normally run from about 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 Travel Policy

     Class members are expected to travel with the group, not in their own vehicles (unless it is a carpool-designated day).

Class Members:

     Socials and volunteer opportunities may count as credit, and may be used toward graduation requirements (must be approved by the Leadership chairperson). Class members not earning enough credits to graduate may utilize the make-up policy and may remain in the class, although not graduate from the class in the Spring of the second year. If a class member begins the program and does not finish or graduate, no refund of tuition is granted.

Make-Up Policy:

      If a class member does not earn enough credits within the two-year curriculum to graduate with the class, he or she will be given the option of making up the same classes (or similar classes if the topics have changed) with the next group. When enough credits are earned to total the eleven (11) needed for graduation, the class member will earn alumni status. Participants not earning eleven (11) credits will not be eligible to take part in any of the scheduled graduation exercises. Only when enough missed classes are made up for the class member to meet the required credits will the participant be considered a “graduate” of their original class.

Tuition and Application for Next Leadership Class

      The tuition for Leadership Bartow is $1,990.00. The tuition may be paid in two installments of $995.00 due August 15 prior to the start of year one and year two. Tuition for Leadership Bartow covers the majority of costs relating to the progam.

Costs not covered by tuition include:
  • Private rooms requested by students during overnight stays (private rooms are available for an additional fee)
  • Some meals during Polk County Day trip to Tallahassee
  • The entire Washington D.C. trip (approx. $1000.00)
  • Several lunches during various days
  • Incidentals, tips, gratuities.

To obtain additional information, pleast contact Shannon Medley, Leadership Bartow Program Chairperson at 863-534-7160 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Bartow Chamber Executive Director at 863-533-7125.

A limited number of partial scholarships are available for each class year for participants who are unable to finance the cost of the program through their employer or through personal resources. Scholarship applications do not impact the selection process. A partial Leadership XVII Scholarship may be available.

Other Leadership Programs and Expansions

  • Networking morning coffee breaks
  • "Lunch and Learn" events
  • Professional development series with Polk State College
  • After hours social gatherings

  • Educational programs and trips
  • Fundraisers to benefit the Leadership Bartow program

  • New curriculum components including: Quality of Life, Retail / Manufacturing, and a second City Government Day, which will emcompass administration, legislation and management; and enhanced leadership training.

Leadership I
William A. Biebuyck, Jr.
Dean l. Brantley
George Burke, Jr.
Dr. Michael W. Carson
Lois K. Clevenger
Kathryn W. Cramer
Becky Crucet
Gregory R. Crum
Kenneth D. Ely
Brian D. DeNeve
Charles R. Grenig
Charles L. Hooks
Lennon D. Jordan, Jr.
Barbara Lawn
Eleanor H. Lawrence
James Gary May
Laverne F. McCall
Paul N. Mudgett
Lee Newell
Ralph J. Nobo, Jr., MD
Nancy T. Pennington
Michelle A. Purcell
J. Richard Stewart
Ruth C. Trainor
Steven R. Wright

   Leadership II
Pam Adams
Idmon Anderson
William S. Blakeman
Blanche E. Bryant
James F. Clements
John Clyatt
Linda Kay Dale
Joseph M. DeLegge
William R. Doster
Marcia L. Ford
Daniel L. Helmick
Brian D. Hinton
Walker C. Lyle, Jr.
James R. Meyer, Sr.
Alicia L. Plemmons
Lee Poppell
Frank A. Spinosa, Jr.
Betty Faye Stidham
Keightley G. Stringfellow
William J. Walworth
Gary L. Wilson
Linda H. Young
Reba M. Zoellner

   Leadership III
Charles E. Bentley
Lela C. Carlton
Diana D. Carr, MD
Pierre R. DuCharme
Benjamin Jerry Evers
George B. Garrard, III
Karen B. Guffey
Carol L. Hawkins
Lionel Hernandez
John L. Hutto
Matthew J. Kovschak
Steven J. Leonard
Susan T. Marger
Stephen D. Mason
Mary Anne Mitchell
James E. Painter
Nancy R. Prince
Jonathan Stidham
William A. Stringfellow
Byron L. Walker
David E. White
Carey K. Whitson
Holly E. Wilson
Roberta S. Wise
Glenda G. Wright
Myrtice P. Young
Scott D. Young

   Leadership IV
Jayne Bates
Martha B. Bell
Jan B. Brewer
H. Lyle Bulman
Yvonne Cole
Patricia C. Crisman
Gloria N. Fussel
Morgan L. Goers
O. George Grubbs
Ernest E. Helms
George W. Howell
Chaucer L. Hwang
Daniel R. Kragh
Clifford A. Lewis
C. Edward Locke, Jr.
Leo E. Longworth
Michael J. Marchman
Janice Y. Mason
Richard A. McKinley
George E. Mears
David L. Merchant
Jerry Mitchell
F. John Murphy
Elin R. Oak
Marian L. Osborne
Eugene M. Palm
M. Raymond Peacock
Tim W. Pitts
Richard M. Powers
Gary B. Runnels
J. Marie Stidham, DDS
Catherine E. Wiggins
Linda W. Holcomb

   Leadership V
David W. Amann
Lillian P. Anderson
Rev. John H. Ball
Margaret L. Boren
Wayne Caldwell
Mark B. Frisbie
Claude M. Harden
Jeanne D. Herrero
Warren C. Leonard
Harold W. Long
Frances M. McMichael
Phillip K. Muron
Sherry Peacock
Cynthia E. Penhallegon
George R. Sabb
Kevin M. Sherin
Charles J. Smallheer
Max Thornburg
Rosie S. Thornburg
Barbara J. Victor
Robert C. Walker
Jefrey R. Walker
Robert R. Welsh
Carolyn K. Williams

Leadership VI
Joyce Bentley
Charles F. Boyles
Sue G. Britt
Ronald M. Brownlow
Jeffrey A. Clark
Wayne A. Ericson
Deborah P. Garringer
Deanna S. Gibson
Jeffrey D. Hoch
Marilyn K. Jones
Brian L. Knight
Michael E. Martin
W. Nolan McLeod
Steven B. Meier
Jane K. Murphy
Steven L. Pinney
Tina Spath
Lisa B. Thompson

   Leadership VII
Kenneth Donald Barber
Linda N. Chancey
Darrell H. Coffey
W. Ernest Cooper
Clifford C. Daniels
Patricia K. DeLegge
Gilbert N. Garringer
Larry W. Isaac
David B. Jellerson
Shane D. Locke
David C. Mitchell, Jr.
Micheal D. Morrow
Adam D. Mrozek
John L. Norman
Joy P. Peavy
Pamela Perdue-Mitchell
Walter R. Reigner
Freda J. Ridgway
Anita C. Stasiak
Terri Lynn Sumner
Steven J. Susick
Richard C. Till
Alan F. Wilcox

  Leadership VIII
Jennifer L. Adams
Melony M. Bell
Debra S. Burdett
Melody H. Clyatt
Sandra L. Dobbertean
Felicity Hendrix
Stephen V. Hendrix
Mary E. Jones
Clifton P. Lewis
Marc B. McLean
Tom E. Myers
Sean R. Parker
Vivian C. Peacock
Willette G. Roach
Douglas J. Royster
Richard H. Sloan
Wade Smith
Daniel G. Taylor
Loura Ann Townsend
Kathleen J. Trowell
Edwin Arthur Vetter
Sherry W. Wheelock
Melissa J. Whitson
George Alan Yearwood

  Leadership IX
Brian P. Baumgardner
Karen G. Boswell
Cameron Brock
Connie P. Brown
Pamela Coffey
Sheryl Cooper
Neal Duncan
Ginger Fortner
Lisa Y. Hall
Michael A. Kragh
Art Martinez
James E. Orth
Ron Pritchard
Joanna Reall
Benny J. Robles, Jr.
Pamela M. Sams
Rebecca K. Schreiber
Fitz Sthreshley
Don W. Tompkins
Jennifer F. Walker
Debra R. Waters
Maxine Weiss
Rex W. Wilkerson
David Wright

   Leadership X
Susanne Allen
James Cook
Linda Culpepper
Mike DeNeve
Freddie Douglas
Melody Godwin
Mary Ann Harrell
Amy Purvis
Felicia Jackson
J.P. James
Bridget Kennedy-Hull
Roberta Massey
Joanne McClellan
Doug Peacock
Holly Pritchard
David Rauscher
Jay Robinson
Suzie Schottelkotte  
Lea Ann Thomas
Don Walters
Keith Warren
Marty Wilson

Leadership XI
Doris Albritton
Bob Ambrose
Carol Borders
Priscilla Boren
Edward Bullard
Emilean Clemons
Jan Crawford
Bo Davis
Susan DeNeve
Jim Duane
Misty Duncan
Leslie Galley
Gloria Greer
Debra Hunter
Peggy Kehoe
Glenn Leewright
Carey MacConnell
Byron Moore
Alice O’Reilly
Margaret Parry
Donna Penix
Fernando Perez
Trish Pfeiffer
Wally Reynolds
Wendy Schaill
Eugene Spath
David Spedden
Mary Ellen Stidham
Kathryn Stilley
Rhonda Thrailkill
Robert Wiegers
Harry Williams
Nancy Young

   Leadership XII
Linda Allen
Phyllis Ball
Jeremy Barnes
Jamie Brown
Mikel Dorminy
Clint Edwards
Jeff Golwitzer
Wayne Harrison
Ed Holcomb
Robert Kendrick
Jeff Kincart
Richard Krakowski
Terrie Lobb
Shannon Medley
Wibke Duval
Cindy Rodriguez
Susan Sartain
James Schaill
Howard Stoughton
Lew Ann Stickland
Karen Wheeler
Robert Wingard

   Leadership XIII
Barbara Balingit
Michael Bedenbaugh
Stacy Bernard
John Boyd
Lyn Bryan
Regina Cino
Mike Clanton
Drew Crawford
Jason Daniel
Marcia Davis
Bonnie Dodson
Jeff Dodson
Jenny Hudson
Larry Legg
Connie Madrid
Larry Madrid
Tara Mathis
Ann McCarty
Carole McKenzie
Shane Nelson
Steve Newell
Melissa Pittman
Alan Rayl
Pam Renew
Gail Smith
Emily Spath-Clark
Jennifer Sturgis
Corey Stutte
Catherine Tucker
Randy Vosburg
Marie Wilmot
Kevin Witmer
Courtney Young

   Leadership XIV
Homer Benavidez
Richard Bernard
John Bohde
Brandon Bulman
David Carmichael
Kon Champavannarath
Kitty Clanton
Matthew Clark
Virginia Condello
Kim Daugherty
Brad DeNeve
Heather Gordon
Tony Grainger
Andrea Henley-Pratt
Ben Hilton
Marissa Holloway
Paula Jackson
Danny Kushmer
Lisa Lannon
Wayne Lewis
George Long
Aaron Medley
Daniel Munzner
Gail Murray
Josh Palmer
Jan Parham
Misty Peacock
Jackie Poole
Carrie Porterfield
Carlos Sandoval
Foster Thorpe
Angie Whisnant
April Willis
David Wyant

Leadership XV
Alex Aqui
Tammy Ard
Chad Barron
Rocco Condello
Dwayne Daughtry
Benjamin Dunn
Katrina Edwards
Michell Githens
Steve Githens
Lesley Green
Mendy Gunter
Kathryn Hall
Catherine Hatch
Karen Hielscher
Lauren Hinton
Matt Hinton
David Huth
Gary Jackson
Joe Bennett
George Katzaras
Gregg Lamb
Margaret Lane
Jay Matteson
Carla Meeks
Vance Monroe
Kimberly Pearsall
Warner Squire
David Thornburg
Kim Wilson   

Leadership XVI
Barbara Adamson
Jenny Baker
Yulonda Bell
Kathryn Bevilacqua-Ely
Frank Canovaca
Miles Carr
Sharon Casey
Mathew Chinault
Seth Claytor
Sara Cooper
Pat Copponex
Greg Corbin
Zeb Duvall
Ken Hall
Brenda Hardman
Wendy Henderson
Nicole Hendricks
Jeff Henry
Tracy Kimbrough
David Little
JC Martin
Sherrie McCollough
Dan McDaniel
Rusty Music
Josh Newell
Tammy Patrick
Jeff Roslow
Valerie Tillmon
Roxanna Tovrea
Tanya Tucker
Marty Wilson