A year before, Florida Chamber of Commerce made its way through the Citrus County flaunting the Leadership Florida Program. Leadership Florida is an association in state of Florida which brings together all the existing and emerging leaders from all over the state. This is done in order to challenge, motivate and inspire them in making Florida a better place. Main motto of the organization is to educate and encourage the leaders through top-level programming and development. However, the grounds of Leadership Florida spotted Grace Hengesbach, a board member of the chamber and graduate of Leadership Citrus. Leadership Citrus is similar to Leadership Florida, both do the same job; Leadership Citrus doing work on smaller, local scale.
Grace said that she was informed about the program and all the details about it, what to do, how to do. In January 2020, Grace visited the Chamber as an ambassador. She thought in herself that she will never be able to fit along with these people. Little did she know, she was the only one who was the right fit. Leadership Florida informed Grace of her acceptance into the Connect Class.
Usually, the members of the program are between 25-39 years of age. Currently, the program is running into its 11th year. People of the program belong to the C-suite from all occupational sectors. 45 members of the class were selected for the program through a competitive application process and meet. This was conducted in the city of Florida between the months of September and May. However, the Connect Class Program ends in the month of May every year.
Grace Hengesbach was really excited after hearing that she has made her way into the program. Probably, she is the first person ever from the Citrus County who was chosen for a statewide program. Grace sees this program as a very good opportunity in order to build a resourceful network. She further said that she is hoping to make some connections for the benefit of Citrus County in terms of industry and legislative.
Right now, she’s not sure what she is going to come across, but will have a plan of action really soon. So far, the class has not had a single in-person meeting. Most of the early meeting have been conducted virtually through online portals. Grace does not feel the burden of being the first representative from the County right now. But soon when everything will go back to normal, she will have a chance to display what Citrus County has to offer to the folks. Though small and rural community, Citrus County has a lot to offer.
Grace said that she is also excited to meet with the state’s big hitters. She is 31 years old, young and enthusiastic personality and she will definitely make a difference. Being an Executive Director of Citrus Blessings in the past, she is now serving as a fundraiser for non-profit organizations including the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. Also, she is running her own consultancy agency.