SARASOTA, FL – Local nonprofit executive John Annis, who serves as Vice President for Community Investment for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, has been selected to join the 32nd class of Leadership Florida. He is one of just 55 leaders in the state chosen to participate in a stimulating and thought-provoking eight-month educational program that consists of a series of five sessions held in cities throughout the state, the culmination of which is the equivalent of a sixth session where participants will join fellow Leadership Florida members at its Annual Meeting.
“I am excited about the opportunity to learn and share with such an amazing group of leaders,” Annis said. “I’ve been fortunate to work with many Leadership Florida alumni and know how committed they are to our great state. And I’m grateful to the leadership of the Community Foundation for its support of my participation in this venture.”
In John’s current role at the Community Foundation, he leads the team responsible for grants, scholarships and nonprofit services, including The Giving Partner, an online resource that helps to connect donors to nonprofits and causes they care about. His leadership has been crucial to engaging the Community Foundation in partnerships including Campaign for Grade Level Reading, which aims to ensure that all area school children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade, and the summer enrichment and career training program at Alta Vista Elementary School, to benefit students and their parents. The Alta Vista program is inspired by Ascend at the Aspen Institute, a proponent of the “two-generational approach” to lifting families out of poverty.
“I congratulate my colleague John Annis on being selected from a very competitive process for the Leadership Florida program,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Roxie Jerde, who is a member of the Executive Leadership Florida class of 2012. “Leading our Community Investment team, John has been at the forefront of developing and executing our community leadership and nonprofit strategy. He is engaging our Community Foundation in multi-agency partnerships that are working to transform literacy efforts within our community, as well as the integration of experiential learning and the arts for all Sarasota County students. He is compassionate and cares deeply about this community – he will be a wonderful representative for Sarasota County and our organization in Leadership Florida.”
Previously, John worked at the Collins Center for Public Policy as Vice President of Public Policy. Prior to that, he was the Director of Customer Services at the Herald-Tribune Media Group, where he also served on the executive team and editorial board.
The majority of John’s professional experience comes from more than 24 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. Prior to retiring in 2002, he served in a number of roles including combat water survival instructor, legal services chief, equal opportunity advisor, and recruiter. John rounded out his military career as the Sergeant Major of Recruiting Station New Orleans, Louisiana, the largest recruiting station in the eastern recruiting region.
In addition to John’s corporate and military experience, he has a long history of volunteering and supporting nonprofit organizations. He most recently completed a term as Board Chair of the United Way of Manatee County.
Leadership Florida is the only organization that takes a statewide view of the conditions and challenges that face our great state. Leadership Florida offers a leadership continuum that expands the impact of community leaders across the state. Created in 1982 by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Florida builds a sense of statewide community by identifying and training individuals with the passion and commitment to help make great things happen.