Q&A With Our New CEO

Leon Fooksman
Leadership Palm Beach County
September 22, 2015

Our new CEO Courtney Curatolo, PhD, has a great vision for leading LPBC to many news successes.

It comes from her extensive experience in organizing, running, and growing leadership organizations. A graduate of the Leadership Collier Class of 2007 and the Leadership Florida Class of XXVII, she co-founded Leadership Hendry and Glades Counties and facilitated the first three classes of the program. Her professional experience also includes working in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors on government and community affairs, issue and candidate campaigns, economic development, and leadership training. 

Courtney explains, below, her plans and ideas for LPBC as well as her path in leadership development.

1) What is your vision for LPBC? 
My vision for LPBC is to bring together leaders from all avenues of life and provide a path for collective stewardship on behalf of the community in which we live and work.  My personal goal is twofold: first, to foster a foundation for assisting current leaders in becoming knowledgeable about local, state and national challenges while providing the foundation for implementing sustainable solutions; and second, assisting emerging leaders in developing the necessary 21st century qualities for succession in stewardship.

My vision is to build meaningful collaboration inspiring people of all ages to become engaged in their communities through civic duty, aspiring to public office and not-for-profit volunteerism.  I shall begin working immediately with the alumni and class members of Leadership Palm Beach County programs to collectively build and sustain a vibrant, interconnected community based upon values inspired through a collective vision, synergistic collaboration and becoming catalysts for positive change.

2) What are your qualifications for serving as the CEO of LPBC?

Leadership development programs have been an important part of my career and education over the last 15 years.  My first job out of college was as the Government Affairs Coordinator with the Naples Chamber of Commerce. An integral part of this role, I had the distinct honor of program director for Leadership Collier with the mission to build a broad based network of community leaders, providing a foundation for enhancing their leadership capacities and skills through a framework of continuing education, shared perspectives and community engagement ultimately working toward solutions in the public interest. 

As I moved on in my career, Leadership Collier remained an important aspect in my life.  I was a member of the Class of 2007 and currently sit on the Leadership Collier Foundation Board of Directors.  It was through my LC network that I was nominated for Leadership Florida and was honored to become a member of the LF Class of XXVII. 

Through this unique experience, I was able to develop a statewide network among business and organizational leaders as well as public officials across the State of Florida.  It also led me on the path to higher education and the desire to gain a PhD in Adult and Community Educational Leadership.  At the same time I was working toward my PhD, I had the distinct pleasure of working with individuals in rural Florida to design a leadership program for Hendry and Glades Counties. I subsequently facilitated that program in its first three years of inception.  The focus of my dissertation was on local leadership development programs and how they motivate and empower individuals to run for public office.

3) Why did you want to work as the CEO?
My array of qualifications including a strong network among business leaders and public officials, extensive engagement in community outreach and research in developing and facilitating collective leadership capacity will provide me with an exceptional foundation for success in this position. 

It is within my experience of building public- private partnerships that I have honed my leadership skills in developing outreach opportunities, collaborating with a variety of organizations in the public, not-for-profit, and private sectors, and establishing a diverse array of engaging leadership initiatives in educational programming. 

It is within this framework of servant leadership in my professional and volunteer activities, embracing work in the not-for-profit and private sectors, that I have also gained exceptional skills in public relations, business partnership and stakeholder development, and building a culture for team and staff cohesiveness. 


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