NLC awards progressive leaders: NLC awards progressive leaders
Four Tallahassee leaders were honored by the New Leaders council Wednesday evening for their work in bettering the Tallahassee community through politics, services for abuse victims, development of Frenchtown and providing a place for civil discourse.
Tallahassee Commissioner Andrew Gillum, PACE Center for Girls Executive Director Kelly Otte, local business Midtown bar Waterworks and Miaisha Mitchell of the Greater Frenchtown Revitalization Council received the 2014 Reubin Askew Progressive Leadership Award at a cocktail hour event.
Their recognition is merited by the work they do each day said NLC Tallahassee Co-Director Pamela Paultre.
“The fellows of the inaugural class chose the nominees based on who they thought in various fields symbolized or represented a progressive leader,” Paultre said. “Someone who can always push the envelope and beyond.”
NLC is a nationwide organization meant to usher young professionals into the roles of leadership.
With 31 chapters in the U.S., six are in Florida – the most of any state. The Tallahassee chapter started just this year with a class of 15 fellows from all stages and walks of life in the capital city.
Mitchell was unable to make the ceremony.
Waterworks owner Don Quarello said he was glad toprovide a place for open civic discussion.
Gillum, who will officially announce his campaign for Mayor of Tallahassee on Saturday, said he was honored to be recognized by a group that already has its hands in the civic world and is trying to do more.
Gillum said he believed his nomination “has a lot to do this transformation and moving the community forward.
He has worked on the city commission, helped develop the Palmer Monroe Teen Center and connected schools with technology through digital enhancement.
“I have tried in my service to demonstrate a record of moving Tallahassee forward,” Gillum said.
Otte, who has directed PACE for nearly four years and also developed the support oriented Oasis Center For Women and Girls, said to be honored by a group of younger people is amazing.
“I have this huge commitment to mentoring, it’s always been a big part of my life,” Otte said. “I hope that what that means is that they recognize that I’ve spent my adult life trying to make the world a better place.”
Otte has worked in support of nonprofit organizations for the better part of her career. She served as executive director of the Refuge House for nine years before moving on to Oasis and PACE.
Creating social change and developing the fabric of the community has been her lifelong goal and joining Gillum and Mitchell in being honored was as prestigious as the award itself, she said.
Of the many hats Otte wears, creating a better community is the one thing she has worked hardest for.
“I think I’d rather be recognized as a social change agent than anything else,” she said. “I couldn’t do anything else.”