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WLI Alumni Spring Forward with Great News!

Spring is here,

alumni are gathering,

babies are being born,

elections and recognitions are taking place,

and your

Wedgworth Alumni News

is here to tell you 

all about it!

Check out what’s been happening with your
Wedgworth Leadership Institute Alumni Family!

Region IV Grills for a Great Time!

On February 24th, Mick and Lisa Lochridge (Class VII), AAWLI Secretary, hosted a BBQ Cookout event for Region IV.  Shane Platt (Class II) manned the grill for the event.  We love when our Wedgworth family gets together, and we are so appreciative of the hard work that went into making this afternoon a success!

Thank you Lisa and Mick for being gracious hosts, and thank you to Shane for providing us with your incredible grilling skills!

Region VI to have a “Luau’d” Event…

Region VI is having a Luau themed regional event on April 21st!  Region VI Co-Director Toby Basore (Region VI) and his wife Toni are hosting the event at his home in Wellington, FL.  Farm Credit of Florida is also a sponsor for this annual event.  More details will be sent out soon!  Contact Toby at with any questions.

In the mean time, grab your best Hawaiian shirt from the back of your closet and prepare to enter paradise!



Class VII Graduate Welcomes “Carlton III”

Carlton Ward II, Class VII

Class VII graduate Carlton Ward II and wife Suzie welcomed their third child, Carlton Ward III, on February 7th, 2018.  Baby Carlton joins his older sisters, Eldridge and Nell Ward.

We are so excited for the Ward family!  Congratulations, Carlton!

HCCGA Annual Meeting Gathers Alumni & Honors Class X Member

A large group of active and alumni members of WLIANR gathered together at the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA) Annual Meeting on the evening of Thursday March 8th.

Aaron Himrod, Class X

At this year’s annual meeting, Class X member Aaron Himrod was most deservingly elected as President of HCCGA.  Aaron is the Manager of Himrod Citrus Nursery, Inc.  Aaron also has other exciting news. Aaron, his wife Kristina, and their daughter Everli just welcomed the birth of their second child, Keiryn Isabelle Himrod.

On February 20th, 2018, the first day of Class X’s Seminar IX, Aaron was just beginning to walk out to one of Driscoll’s strawberry fields for the first speaker at 9:58am…when he received the message from his wife that it was time to go!

Keiryn was born at 1:05pm on the same day.

Congratulations on all of your exciting news, Aaron!  

Alumni Couple Help Host Mayor’s Ball

Wife Krista Springer Basore (Class V) and Husband Stephen Basore (Class VI) put their leadership to work as part of the host committee of the fifth annual Mayor’s Ball, presented by the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County.
With their leadership, the event, which was held on March 10th, boasted a record setting 720 guests in attendance.  Of those, 80 were representative of agriculture and the community of the Glades region of Palm Beach County.  The audience even included Vanilla Ice–who sang his hit song “Ice Ice Baby” at the spur of the moment!
The below photo includes the over 10% in attendance who represent western Palm Beach County.

Wedgworth alumni in attendance include: David Basore (Class I), Krista Basore (Class V), Stephen Basore (Class VI), Eric Hopkins (Class V), Barbara Miedema (Class IV), Mark Sodders (Class I), Dennis Wedgworth (Class I), and Keith Wedgworth (Class VII).  Also in attendance was Wedgworth Class X member Caroline Villanueva.

Congratulations, Krista and Stephen, on your successful night!
Thank you for “being the change!”

Class X Member welcomes Baby Boy!

Cody Hoffman, Class X

Class X member Cody Hoffman and wife Lexie welcomed their second child, Frank Allan Hoffman, on January 5th, 2018.  Frank joins older sister, Lydia Hoffman.

We are so excited for your growing family, Cody!  Congrats to you and Lexie!

Class V Graduate Honored with LEA President’s Award

The Leadership Excellence Awards (LEA) celebrate alumni who are living examples of the vision and mission of Leadership Palm Beach County; nominees demonstrate the need to connect, collaborate and change.

Class V graduate Eric Hopkins was this year’s recipient of the prestigious President’s Award.  Eric is the Vice President of Hundley Farms, Inc. in Loxahatchee, FL.

Congratulations, Eric!  Thank you for all you do for LPBC and for our industry!

Richard Schwab, Class VI

Class VI Graduate Elected Secretary/Treasurer of Water Management District

AAWLI Region I Director Richard Schwab (Class VI) was elected to serve the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) as the new Secretary/Treasurer!

Richard was appointed by Governor Rick Scott in April of 2015 to represent the Coastal River Basin for the SRWMD Governing Board.

Richard works as a procurement manager of his family’s business, M.A. Rigoni. He currently serves as the president of the Southeastern Wood Producers Association and the vice president of the American Loggers Council. Richard also serves as a board member of the Forest Resources Association and a member of the Florida Forestry Association.

Congratulations, Richard, on this most deserved  leadership honor!  We are proud of you as you continue to put your leadership training to work!

Survey Polls for 2019 Alumni International Trip & 2018 WYLI location

If you are not on Facebook, you probably did not see the two recent polls posted to get alumni input for the 2019 Alumni International Trip and the 2018 Wedgworth Youth Leadership Institute location.

But do not fear!  Your voice can still be heard!

You can do one of the following:

1. Leave your ideas for either survey poll in a comment on this post.

2. Email Val McKee with your ideas for either survey poll at


















MARK YOUR CALENDARS for July 26-28th at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, FL!

Stay tuned as we announce this year’s keynote speakers, items for the annual alumni live and silent auctions, the official site location for the Wedgworth Youth Leadership Institute, and so much more!

This year is a GRADUATION YEAR–so be excited as we welcome Class X into our alumni family!!!

Find Us Now on LinkedIn!

Calling all Wedgworth alumni on LinkedIn!

We now have an Alumni Association LinkedIn page and associated LinkedIn *group.

(What’s the difference, you ask?  Our page is visible to the public, while our group is exclusive to WLI alumni and partners/spouses; this is similar to our Wedgworth Facebook page and Facebook private group.)

*Members of the LinkedIn group may invite other alumni members to be a part of the group as long as they are already connected or “friends” on LinkedIn.  Or, search for “Alumni Association of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute” and ask to join our group!