Leadership Charlotte

Running Toward The Future with 2020 Vision

The 2020 class of Leadership Charlotte is dedicated to promoting the health, wellness, and safety of the children of Charlotte County.  Join us at our Easter Hop 5k Run/Fun Walk, our Roaring 20's Speakeasy Event, take part in our Spirit Wagon Raffle, or learn more about sponsoring our causes and events!  But whatever, you do, please don't accidentally fall into our hidden cellar door!

Events

Causes

Our goal is raise funds and donate time and expertise to build a new press box for the Charlotte Warriors and everyone else that uses the facilities at Carmalita Park.
Our second cause will assist in paying for children currently in the Charlotte County foster system to participate in community sports programs.
Foster Children
Sports Funding
We will create a scholarship to be a part of Leadership Charlotte for individuals where the cost is not covered by their organization. We will also contribute the Endowment fund that contributes yearly to community causes.
Leadership Charlotte
Scholarship/Endowment

1920s Slang provided by mental floss

Class Members

Melissa Reichert
Melissa Reichert

Melissa Reichert serves as the communications manager for the City of Punta Gorda Florida. Melissa is responsible for the daily communications activities of the City and implementing the strategic communications and branding campaign. Prior to joining the City of Punta Gorda in July 2018, Melissa had spent the last 15 years working in community and economic development as the President of the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Melissa previously served as a member of the board of directors of the Wisconsin State Chamber of Commerce Executives, served as Vice-President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Centergy, a regional economic development organization, and provided leadership for the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point as a member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council. Melissa has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master’s degree in business administration, a master’s degree in public health and is a DrPH candidate at Capella University.

Chris Fankhauser
Chris Fankhauser

Chris hails from Nebraska (Go Big Red!), and has been in Florida 3 1/2 years. She lives here with her two youngest sons, Zach and Travis, and her cat, Mr. T.

While in Nebraska, she worked for her local radio station in the news department for almost 15 years. She decided to pursue her MBA, and graduated from Chadron State College in 2015. Since moving to Florida, she has worked in customer service and senior care, currently working as the Community Liaison for Helping Hands SW FL.

Chris is halfway through her second Master’s degree in public administration with a focus on emergency management. To get a better real-world understanding prior to graduation, she volunteers with the Punta Gorda Fire Department.

Aside from her two sons in Florida, she has another son and daughter, Brady and Michaela, and granddaughter, Claire, all in Nebraska.

Reppard Gordon
Reppard Gordon

Caldwell Trust Company
Assistant Vice President and Trust Officer

Mike McLellan
Mike McLellan

Current Director of Business Development for the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce. Originally from the Boston area, but has lived in North Port Florida with his wife and two sons since 2005 (Arriving right after Hurricane Charley). Past employment includes driving a car hauler and trucking for over 10 years and TV advertising with Comcast Spotlight and Fox 4. Mike went back to college to pursue a Business/Marketing degree from the University of South Florida where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 2011. He currently sits on the Foundation Board of the Homeless Coalition and is passionate about giving a hand up, not a hand out.

Michael E. Mitchell
Michael E. Mitchell

Ph.D. candidate College of Education, Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation Program, University of South Florida, Tampa
Former NBCT Biology Anatomy & Physiology Teacher
Sponsor for Science Fair, Science and Environmental Club, National Honor Society
Florida SouthWestern Collegiate – Charlotte Campus

Craig Badinger
Craig Badinger

Craig Badinger spent the past decade working in arts and performing arts nonprofits in Washington DC, Miami, and New York City before settling in Punta Gorda in 2016. He has worked for such national organizations as Martha Graham Dance Company and Miami City Ballet, and most recently served Englewood’s Hermitage Artist Retreat in charge of fundraising and development. In May 2019 Craig joined the Punta Gorda Symphony as Executive Director, his first step into an executive leadership role.

Rosa Benghtt
Rosa Benghtt

Rosa, born and raised in Honduras, Central America, and moved to Belize after completing her high school, in there, she pursued a career as a public accountant at St. John College. In 1988, she then returned to Honduras and was hired by the U.S. Embassy to work directly for JTF-Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base as a bilingual secretary and Public Accountant in the logistics department,
She moved to the United States seeking better opportunities, and chose to settle down in Freeport, Long Island, New York. While in Freeport she gained working experience in the health care field as a patient care technician in the emergency room of Long Island Jewish Medical Center
After spending ten years in New York, she relocated her family to the City of Clermont in central Florida. She is a proud mother of 3 children: Michelle, 27, Carlos, 22 and Sarah, 20, she enjoy the role as a mother. While raising her children she continued to work in the medical field as a patient care technician while attending nursing school at Lake Sumter Community College in Leesburg, Florida
Today, Rosa is the proud owner-administrator of Granny NANNIES Home Health Care of Charlotte County, with approximately one hundred caregivers proudly serving the Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte areas, and extending to include Englewood to the north and Boca Grande to the west
Rosa is a proud member of the PG Isles Civic Association, PGI Floridians, she serves on the Board of Directors of Punta Gorda Rotary Club, a member of C.A.R.E. Auxiliary, PG Elks, member of Our Charlotte Elder Affairs Network (OCEAN), as well as her business is a member of the Punta Gorda, Charlotte County and Englewood Chambers of Commerce, she also serve on a Board of Directors at Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce.
Starting in Honduras, then to Belize, New York, and finally settling in Florida, Rosa has found a business and a home to call her own; she enjoys living in Charlotte County, with her husband Ramon Pena.

Suzanne Herron
Suzanne Herron

In January 2018, Suzanne Herron joined the Charlotte Community Foundation as the Chief Accounting Manager and was named Chief Financial Officer in July 2018.Suzanne moved to Charlotte County in 2010 from Washington DC, where she headed the Accounting and Human Resources Departments for the International Spy Museum. Once in Florida, Suzanne took on the role of Accounting Manager for Cintas Corporation’s National Account Location in their Fire Protection Division. As an Inaugural Staff Member at the Museum and joining Cintas’ National Accounts Location soon after it’s acquisition, Suzanne honed skills to quickly establish streamlined departments with efficient workflows and robust internal controls. Suzanne’s commitment to accuracy, transparency and process ensures her department’s reporting can be relied upon by leaders and stakeholders for timely, insightful analysis of an organization’s performance.“I am extremely excited to be putting my skills to use here in Charlotte County. I fell in love with this area during childhood family vacations and am now honored to have the opportunity to contribute to it’s embetterment through CCF’s mission.” When Suzanne is not pouring over spreadsheets and turning pivot tables, she can be found on the waters of Charlotte Harbor with her fiancé, Dave and their fur baby Clarissa, an Animal Welfare League rescue.

Gaither Stephens
Gaither Stephens

Current Chief Technology Officer for Gulf Coast Partnership, a non-profit organization working to prevent and end homelessness in Charlotte County, Florida and CEO of Gaither Dynamic, a data visualization and automation company. Master of Science in Computer Information Systems graduate with a concentration in Database Management and Business Intelligence. Gaither has over 20 years’ real-world leadership and technical experience working with teams, administering systems, completing projects, analyzing data, improving business processes, and exceeding goals.

Terrance M. Wright
Terrance M. Wright

Education: B.S. Chemical Engineering, M.S. Manufacturing Engineering, M.B.A
Certifications: Registered Patent Agent, US Patent & Trademark Office
Profession: Professional Guardian & Fiduciary
Registration: Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Bonded
Owner: Integra Estate & Lifecare Services
Other: President, Charlotte Estate Planning Council

Tara Fabiano
Tara Fabiano

After graduating from Charlotte High School, Tara attended Florida State University where she received her degree in English Literature with a minor in Communication. She moved back to Punta Gorda in 2015 and is now the Administrative Assistant at Farr Law Firm, the oldest law firm in Charlotte County. Tara is a board member of the Fred Lang Foundation and has helped plan fundraising events for Animal Welfare League and Habitat for Humanity.

In her free time Tara enjoys relaxing with her terrier, Tucker, watching college football and exploring local restaurants, breweries and events.

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