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AAWLI 2017 Annual Meeting Highlights

If you missed the 2017 Annual Meeting for the Alumni Association of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute, don’t be discouraged! We have all the highlights for you here:

AAWLI 2017 Annual Meeting in Review

The 2017 Annual Meeting for the AAWLI met at the Naples Grande Beach Resort on August 3rd – 5th.
Approximately 150 attendees gathered in Naples on behalf of AAWLI!

Thank you again to all of our sponsors for the conference, including our presenting meeting sponsor, Pavese Law Firm!

Weekend in Review Video:


Highlights from the weekend include:
  • Incredible presentations from speakers such as Anthony Lafauce, Vice President of Digital Communications at Porter Novelli, Dr. Matthew Sowcik, Assistant Professor of Leadership Education at UF/IFAS, Mr. Matthew Johnston, Class II member and CEO of Vegetables at Syngenta, and Mr. Mike Joyner, Class I member and Assistant Commissioner for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
  • The 2017 Commissioner of Agriculture Candidate Forum & Luncheon, facilitated by Mrs. Lisa Lochridge (Class VII) and featuring Representative Matthew Caldwell, Senator Denise Grimsley, and former Representative and Class IX member Baxter Troutman;
  • The 2017 AAWLI Annual Business Meeting, which included the nomination of President-elect Ms. Amanda Taylor (Class VIII), reports from Treasurer Mr. Matt Webb (Class VII), Secretary Mrs. Lisa Lochridge (Class VII), Dr. Hannah Carter on behalf of Alumni Coordinator Ms. Valerie McKee, Mrs. Christy Chiarelli on behalf of Chairperson Mrs. Tracy Duda Chapman (Class IV) in regards to the WLIANR Fundraising Committee, and other new business;
  • The 2017 Wedgworth Youth Leadership Institute, with 16 participants ranging in age from 5 to 16, coordinated by Alumni Coordinator Valerie McKee, and chaperoned by Mr. Tony Lopez (Class VIII), Mr. Joshua Light (Class X), and Mrs. Fawn Harrison (spouse of Mr. Matthew Harrison, Class VII);
  • The 25th Anniversary Dinner & Awards Celebration, awarding the Burl Long Award to Mr. Keith Wedgworth (Class VII), the Farm Credit Award to Mr. Matthew Webb (Class VII), the Honorary Director Award to Mrs. Staci Braswell Sims (Class VIII), and the Trotter Award to Mr. Scottie Butler and Dr. Rod Clouser.
Expect to see day-by-day reviews with all of these highlights, photos, videos, and more in the days to come!

Our Alumni Association is fortunate to have an incredible Executive Board of Directors who all gave their time and energy over the course of the weekend.  Thank you to our President Mr. Ray Royce (Class VII), Past President Mr. Sean Brantley (Class VII), Secretary Mrs. Lisa Lochridge (Class VII), and Treasurer Mr. Matthew Webb (Class VII) for leading and serving us as you all have!

Ray Royce, Class VII
Sean Brantley, Class VII
Lisa Lochridge, Class VII
Matthew Webb, Class VII

We would be remiss if we did not thank Dr. Hannah Carter, Program Director of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture & Natural Resources, for all of her hard work and behind-the-scenes assistance in this weekend’s events.  Thank you, Dr. Carter, for continuing to serve the graduates of WLIANR!

Dr. Hannah Carter, WLIANR Program Director
Laurie Hurner, Class VII
 Special thanks are due to former Alumni Coordinator Ms. Laurie Hurner (Class VII) for all of her volunteered time and services to make this weekend special!  Thank you, Laurie, for continuing to serve your fellow alumni!

Many thanks are due to Susie Bishop (Class VIII) for her hard work organizing this year’s live and silent auctions! Thank you to Kevin Huesman (Class I) for volunteering his services (for the first time ever) as our auctioneer!  Thank you to Ms. Amanda Taylor (Class VIII) and Ms. Alicia Taylor (Class X) for organizing this year’s Bobbing for Bourbon & Wine Pull!

 The Live Auction raised – $ 16,000.00
The Silent Auction raised – $ 3,230.00
The Wine Pull & Bobbing for Bourbon raised – $ 1,120.00
Grand Total :  $20,350.00
Susie Bishop, Class VIII
Kevin Huesman, Class I
Amanda Taylor, Class VIII
Alicia Taylor, Class X

Thank you to Mr. Gordon Yoder and Mr. Andrew Horvath for their photography and videography work over the course of the weekend.  Alumni Coordinator Ms. Valerie McKee also managed all of our association’s social media accounts for the weekend.  Photos and videos will be posted on our website and Facebook page. To see all of our posts from the weekend, look for our conference hashtag: #AAWLI17

The Media Room was generously sponsored by Genesis Timber.  Thank you to Mr. Matthew Webb (Class VII) & Genesis Timber for their sponsorship!
Gordon Yoder, AAWLI Intern
Andrew Horvath, AAWLI Intern
Valerie McKee, Alumni Coordinator

Lastly, thank you again to our incredible event coordinator for this year’s annual meeting, Mrs. Lisa Ashley of Fusion Communications & Events, for making this weekend one to never forget!  

Thank you, Lisa, for helping us create beautiful memories!