The Leadership Citrus class of 1995 graduated from a six-month training program Friday night with a promise to be a catalyst for countywide efforts to improve Citrus County.
Speaking for the 15-member class, Stewart Grumbling described its intention to organize the 60 graduates of the past four Leadership Citrus classes into an active alumni association.
Many of those graduates already are involved in community activities, including Citrus 20/20, a visioning exercise spearheaded by the Class of 1994 that is setting goals for how Citrus County should be in the year 2020.
Grumbling said that this year's class wants to organize the alumni and channel the talents and energies of the previous graduates into more community improvement projects. A social gathering is being organized for August to collect suggestions from the alumni.
Sandra Mortham, Florida's secretary of state, addressed the graduates at the Citrus County Builders Association hall and urged the graduates to stay involved in their communities "because that's where things are accomplished, on the local level."
Leadership Citrus is a program jointly sponsored by the county's three chambers of commerce. It offers training on local issues and resources in Citrus County.
This year's graduates are:
Ben Branch Jr., vice president, Barnett Bank of the Suncoast.
Mary Craven, tourist/business facilitator, Citrus County.
Jeff Dawsy, director of the Emergency Operations Center for Citrus County.
Jim Fowler, Citrus County Commissioner.
Stewart Grumbling, general operations manager, RG Printing Co.
Gregory Hamilton, editor, Citrus edition of the St. Petersburg Times.
Beth Johns, owner, Jazzercise, Crystal River.
Katie Lucas, office manager, Citrus 95 radio.
Trina Malz, advertising sales leader, Citrus County Chronicle.
Betty Pleacher, executive director, Citrus County Chamber of Commerce.
Ross Spalti, nuclear operations instructor, Florida Power Corp.
William Stocker, vice president, SunBank and Trust Co.
Chester White Jr., president of Stanley Steemer.
Willie White, warehouse supervisor, Insulated Coating Corp.
Mark Yerman, County Court Judge.