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Corporate and Leadership Development is a part of About and Academics

Empowering Leaders Professional Series (ELPS)

Polk State College is pleased to offer the Empowering Leaders Professional Series (ELPS). The purpose of the ELPS Program is to provide training opportunities and strengthen the skillsets of full-time employees who have an interest in upward mobility within higher education. Supported by the Office of Corporate and Leadership Development, the program is aligned to the College’s strategic goals and core values and aims to develop superb and diverse leaders focused on student success to sustain a legacy of excellence in leadership at Polk State College.

Note: To be eligible for the program, a full-time employee must be employed at the College for a minimum of six months.

Apply Now!

Application deadline August 21, 2023.

Candidates submitting an application must include:

    • Letter of Recommendation and Support from the immediate supervisor OR a College administrator who oversees the department, that comment on both the applicant’s leadership potential and indicate support for his or her participation in all of the activities of the Empowering Leaders Professional Series; including agreement to pay registration fee.
    • Personal Statement: A typed statement that highlights reasons for applying for the leadership opportunity, to include:
      1. How participation in ELPS benefits professional goals, and
      2. How participation in ELPS will be of benefit to the College.

The cost per participant for the program is $400.00, which offsets the cost of presenters, food, and other program related expenses.


09/29/23 – Opening Session and DISC [REQUIRED]
5/29/24 – Symposium [REQUIRED]

Applicant Responsibilities

The program participant is responsible for:
1. Traveling to various Polk State College campuses for participation.
2. Participating in all program activities in their entirety, including the opening session, monthly sessions, and the Symposium.
3. Obtaining the supervisor’s approval and support to engage in the program.
4. Engaging with a leadership coach; the coach may be the participant’s supervisor or another College leader.
5. Investing in the growth and development of the College as a whole.

Attendance is mandatory at the following ELPS Program events:
1. Opening session.
2. End of program Symposium.
3. All monthly training sessions (up to two absences outside the required sessions will be allowed, but not encouraged).

Completing the ELPS program successfully provides exemption for degree requirements related to application for the President’s Leadership Institute, should you be so inclined to pursue that opportunity. ELPS completers are also encouraged to participate in the selection process for the incoming class.

Previous ELPS Classes

  1. Class VIII (2022-2023)

    Emerging Leaders Class VIII

    April King, Orlando Velez, April Weimer, Carleigh Okwali, Alicia Keilty, John Bennett

    ELPS Class VIII Leadership Quote:
    “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

    Coaches: Dr. Keith Bonney, Jennifer Abels, Dr. Bert Rivera-Marchand, J. Cody Moyer, Madison Fantozzi,

  2. Emerging Leaders Class VII (2021-2022)


    Emerging Leaders Class VII

    Vicki J. East, John Fynn, Carolyn Orr, Valentina Gutierrez

    ELPS Class VII Leadership Quote:
    “Effective Leadership is the Art of Positively Influencing Others.”

    Coaches: Dominiki Martin, Reginal Webb, Leah Bartholomay, J. Cody Moyer

  3. Emerging Leaders Class VI (2020-2021)

    Emerging Leaders Class VI

    Pictured left to right, top to bottom:
    Niqui Pringle-Brown, Lanier Cameron, Patricia Edgcomb, Katrina Smith, Faith Gallian, Gwen Simmons, Kimberly Hess, Katie Ragsdale, Joel Troche, Cherie Murray, Alake Jackson, Dionne Formey

    ELPS Class V Leadership Quote:
    “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John Maxwell

  4. Emerging Leaders Class V (2019-2020)

    Emerging Leaders Class V

    Pictured from left to right:
    Rich Lavigueur, Luis Fernandez, Tanya Jones, Ryan Criss, Latasha Lee, Kathleen O’Donnell, Richard Benson, Tina Hanson, Summer Hicks, Charity Garcia, Jillian Capper, Lisa Montanez, Manuel Miller, Joyce Thompson

     ELPS Class V Leadership Quote:
    “If serving is below you, then leadership is beyond you.”  ~ Bishop Dale C. Bronner

    Coaches: Mary Clark, Meesha Downing, John Glenn, Simmi Johnson, Lorrie Jones, Von McGriff, Aaron Roane, April Robinson, Tamara Sakagawa, Bob Stack, Lee Thomas, Ron Zachary

  5. Emerging Leaders Class IV (2018-19)

    Bartow, Fla. Feb. 1, 2019. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

    Emerging Leaders Class IV

    Pictured from left to right:
    Brenda Arnold, Roni Miller, Alexandros Dimitriadis, Kimberly Battle, Mathew Peneguy, Joan Connors, Matthew James, Dominiki Martin, Aaron Roane, Deborah Davidson, Yvonne Velez

    ELPS Class IV Leadership Quote:
    “Leadership is an action, not a position.”
    – Donald H. McGannon

    Coaches: Yulonda Bell, Naomi Boyer, William De Witt, Howard Drake, Stephen Hull, Sylvester Little, Donald Painter, Tracy Porter, Rebecka Ramos, April Robinson, Lisa Rosa

  6. Emerging Leaders Class III (2017-18)

    Emerging Leaders Class III

    Click on the image to open it larger on your screen.

    Pictured from left to right:
    Brenda Bracewell, Chantelle Hrubes, Lisa Pendry, LaKeysha Cason, Sam Hale, Star Anderson, Gerry Hubbs, Ron Zachary, Sarah Maguire, Martin Chicas

    ELPS Class III Leadership Quote:
    A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
    –John C. Maxwell

    Freddie Acevedo, Naomi Boyer, Kathy Bucklew, Stephen Hull, Donald Painter, Gerene Thompson, Yvonne Velez

  7. Emerging Leaders Class II (2016-17)


    Emerging Leaders Class II

    Click on the image to open it larger on your screen.

    Pictured from left to right:
    Noreen Weber, Vernee Williams, Barry Collins, Lisa Smelser, Matthew Lenihan, Rayla Tokarz, Kyle Kniffin, Elba Concepcion, Denise Andreu-Pietri, Sarah Plazak, Megan Cavanah, Nixsa Cruz-De Witt, Gregory George

    ELPS Class II Leadership Quote:
    “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
    –John Quincy Adams

    Freddie Acevedo, Naomi Boyer, William De Witt, Peter Elliott, Cynthia Freitag, Stephen Hull, Nathan Neuman, Donald Painter, Larry Pakowski, Tamara Sakagawa, Teresa Vorous, Lynn Wilson

  8. Emerging Leaders Class I (2015-16)


    Emerging Leaders Class I

    Click on the image to open it larger on your screen.

    Pictured from left to right:
    Terrance Hays, Joshua Plazak, Tracy Tanner, Jamie Rowan, Freddie Acevedo, William De Witt, Von McGriff, Matina Wagner, Erin Montgomery, Nathan Neuman, Nicara Daniels, Sharron Davis, Patrice Thigpen, Rosebud Leslie, Karen Moore

    ELPS Class I Leadership Quote:
    “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
    —Jack Welch

    Valparisa Baker, Yulonda Bell, Naomi Boyer, Marianne George, Stephen Hull, Donald Painter, Martha Santiago, George Urbano, Reginal Webb, Lynn Wilson, Beverly Woolery