News Flash


Posted on: July 5, 2023




A group of Teammates at the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller’s Office had no idea they had so many things in common.  Many had just interacted for the first time.  They were participants in the Office’s second Leadership Development Program class which graduated in June.  There was a “cohort” in Dade City and one in New Port Richey.   In all, 23 participated.  At the graduation ceremony, Inspector General manager Christine Calianno spoke on behalf of her colleagues in Dade City.  “The magic that I think happened with all of us, is we didn’t just sit and learn and sponge up a bunch of stuff on paper,” said Calianno.  “We engaged with each other so much and absorbed everything.”  IT manager Bonnie Ellis spoke for her Teammates in New Port Richey.  “We learned about smart goals and planning and looking at obstacles,” said Ellis.  “Which is important, because (with) every well played plan there is an obstacle.”


Pasco Clerk & Comptroller Nikki Alvarez-Sowles told those attending the graduation ceremony, that Teammates filled out their annual survey, and a number of them suggested that leadership training was lacking.  The Office listened.  “We knew as an organization that we needed to work on providing leadership development opportunities for our team,”  said Alvarez-Sowles.  “So we know that we’ve hit this nail on the head.”  The Clerk noted that one of the unusual facets of this program, is it is conducted at each respective office, meaning Teammates don’t have to travel to take part.   “Usually you are online or you go to the institution’s site,”  said Alvarez-Sowles.  “This has such value to us, that they are here in our environment and our Team is here together.”


The Leadership Development Program is made possible by a unique partnership between the Clerk’s Office and Saint Leo University.  Mary Owens is the Facilitator.  “What I get really jazzed up about, is when I see them (the participants) taking action,” said Owens.  “When I hear these discussions going on.”  Dr. Cindy Lee is the  director of the Center for Alternative Pathway Programs.  “Whether you’re at the top leadership position, or if you’re at the entry level, let me just say every one is a leader,” said Dr. Lee.  “In your family, with your friends, you’re always helping others try to achieve goals, right?”


The Clerk thanked Saint Leo University and the Florida West Coast Credit Union for their partnerships in the program.  She also commented that she is extremely pleased with the results of the program.  “This is just the beginning,” said Alvarez-Sowles.  “I want more!”

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