Project LEAD

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Calling all future board members!

This unique program prepares emerging and current leaders for leadership roles on nonprofit and public sector boards and committees. Our goal is to build better nonprofit boards with a focus on building a pipeline of diverse board candidates. It's important that we take a stand to make sure our community's boards are representative of the communities we serve, that all voices have an equal seat at the table and are included in the decision-making process.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to join a nonprofit Board of Directors? Our introduction to board leadership gives you the opportunity to sharpen your skills by learning from local experts who will take the mystery out of becoming a board member. This program offers 6 workshops ranging from fundraising, strategic planning and marketing to finances and governance responsibilities. We'll help you build the tools and connections to become key volunteers within our community partners and other nonprofit and public sector organizations in Okaloosa or Walton counties.


Ideal Candidate

  • A professional or community leader with the desire to accept a volunteer leadership role at a nonprofit
  • Demonstrated interest in community engagement
  • Committed to attending 6 workshops, which are required for board certification and recommendation


About the Program

During this program, participants attend six workshops ready to listen, learn, and participate. The program concludes with a graduation ceremony and board networking event, where graduates can meet representatives of nonprofit organizations that are seeking new members for their boards or committees.

See the full schedule, workshops, and locations here.


How to Apply

If selected for the program, tuition is $75 to help offset the cost of materials and refreshments. An invoice will be emailed to the candidate once accepted and is due a week before the first session.

We never want cost to be a barrier for anyone interested in learning about board service. All applicants are encouraged to seek financial support from their employer, either in part or in full. A limited number of scholarships are available. Scholarship requests are considered independently from the applications.

For more information, please contact Kelly Jasen at 850.812.3382 or 

We are not accepting applications at this time. Please complete this form if you would like to be notified when applications open in fall 2024:

Class l Roster (2024)

Carrie Brewer, Tidwell Homes - Operation Manager

Chelsea Hermon, United States Air Force - Operations Manager

CJ Davis, 1ShotCreations - Co-Owner

Clay Rikard, CCB Community Bank - Commercial Lender

D. Rose Baldwin, The First Bank - Vice President Consumer Lender

Dakota Scott, Children in Crisis - Volunteer and Event Coordinator

Dana Lee Kane, Community Bank - Assistant Vice President

Danica LaFaire, Fish Window Cleaning - Investor

Denise Creech, Elite Signings and Events Owner, Remote Notary & Wedding Officiant Services

Dustin T. Cosson, Walton County Sheriff's Office - Bureau Chief Criminal Investigations

Ella Payne, Realty ONE Group Emerald Coast - Agent

Erika Vasquez, Community Aid Organization Inc - President

Joshua Bugby, Children in Crisis - Development Director

Laura Triana, Community Aid Organization Inc - Vice President

Mady Scott, CAN Community Health - Practice Administrator

Nicole Malley, Frances Roy Agency - Digital Media Specialist

Rebecca Picnic, Community Bank of MS - Teller & CSR

Regina Y Samy, Hampton Inn and Suites & Home2 Suites by Hilton - Dual General Manager 

Sherry Jones, One Hopeful Place - Community & Public Relations Director

Sierra Marie Elliott, 1st Special Operations Wing - Sexual Assault & Harassment Specialist

Stefanie Fontaine, Bridgeway Center - Director of Growth & Development & CCBHC Project Director

Susan Sharpe, EXIT Realty Anchor South - Broker

VaTema Ivy, Air Force Enlisted Village - Director of Marketing and Community Relations

Wendy Stevens, United Fidelity Bank - Business Development Officer