Leadership Palm Beach County Announces Leadership Excellence Award Recipient

Christina D'Elosua
Leadership Palm Beach County
May 5, 2014




WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Leadership Palm Beach County recently celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Leadership Excellence Award which was presented to Jim Sugarman, Executive Director of the West Palm Beach Library Foundation and Leadership Alumni from the class of 1995.
            Over 350 community leaders attended the award event, complete with paparazzi, “blue carpet” interviews, digital photo memories and the amazing sounds of the band Wonderama. The event was sponsored by Guia Brown and Chung Wong Financial Advisors with Raymond James Palm Beach , and celebrated the community contributions of nine award finalists and nominees – all alumni of Leadership Palm Beach County’s yearlong leadership program. Since 2004, the Leadership Excellence Award has recognized one individual in Palm Beach County who has made a significant contribution to improve our community and possesses the leadership qualities of integrity, compassion, credibility, passion, risk-taking, fairness, empowerment and humility.

As Executive Director of the West Palm Beach Library Foundation, Jim Sugarman has made an impact in Palm Beach County for the last twenty five years. His consistent commitment to people in need has positively impacted the quality of life for tens of thousands in our community. He has empowered people to help others, do the right thing or simply get more involved. Jim is a mentor, a volunteer and leader in his profession.

This year’s finalists of the Leadership Excellence Award were: Bob Bertisch, Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County; Dari Bowman, Charitable Activist; and Brian Edwards, Gulfstream Goodwill Industries.

Nominees of the Leadership Excellence Award were Michael Gaugher, Palm Beach County Sherriff’s Office; Fran Hathaway, Lifestories; Carey Haughwout, Office of the Public Defender; Evelyn Hopkins, Florida Crystals; and Denise Valz, Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida.

Honorary Chairmen of the event were David Baker, Don Chester and Gale Howden, the first three recipients of the Leadership Excellence Award.  Co-Chairmen of the event were Dorothy Bradshaw, South Florida Water Management District and Patrick McNamara, Community Partners.  

Additional sponsors of the event included: The Palm Beach Post, Dignity Memorial, First Republic Bank, Haile, Shaw & Pfaffenberger, P.A., SunTrust, Northwestern Mutual, Gulfstream Goodwill Industries and Palm Beach Atlantic University.


Leadership Palm Beach County, Inc., is an educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization designed to foster awareness of community issues and promote efficient communication and cooperative relationships between existing and emerging community leaders. LPBC’s stated mission is to educate and unite leaders to build a better community.  Initiated in 1983 through a collaborative effort of the local Chambers of Commerce, LPBC has prepared more than 1,500 graduates for enhanced community leadership roles.