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Alumni Spotlight | Leap Alumni

LeaP Alumni profiles alumni in the Pensacola Bay Area who reflect the practice of our mission and the diversity of our community.

sportlight-baraco

Angela Baraco, Class of 2006
Security Consultant/Market Manager, Sonitrol of Northwest Florida

Community Involvement
Gulf Coast Crime Stoppers
Guardian ad Litem/Child Guardians
Five Flags Sertoma
Pensacola Women’s Alliance
Pensacola LEAD-ers
Krewe of Seville

Why is Leadership Pensacola important to our community?
Leadership Pensacola is important to our community not only because it provides the future leaders of Pensacola the opportunity to learn about this wonderful community and to get to know other future leaders, but also because it gives all the participants in the program a unique perspective on Pensacola, from people who are “in the know.” There are lessons learned and information received and opportunities provided that one cannot get in any way other than going through the Leadership Pensacola program.

How has your Leadership Pensacola experience inspired you?
LeaP has inspired me to get involved. I have always been involved in the community, that is, on several boards, in several organizations, etc., but my Leadership Pensacola experience has helped me get involved in shaping the future of this community. I have been much more aware of the political goings-on in the area and have been involved in researching and then “spreading the word” on many of the current issues.

What is your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement has been being a part of the Child Guardians board this past year as we applied for and won one of the Impact 100 grants. The Child Guardians organization has been a passion of mine for several years; an organization whose purpose is to recruit and retain volunteers to assist children in the Dependency Court system because of abuse, abandonment, or neglect. I was fortunate to be asked to participate in the grant application process for an Impact 100 grant, and I was selcted to do the final presentation to the women of Impact 100 at thier annual meeting at which the grant winners were selected. Being part of such a wonderful organization and being a member of the Board who was a recipient of the $100,000 grant is without a doubt my greatest achievement.

Where in Pensacola can you find the best (hamburger, pizza, margarita, etc)?
Hamburger (or cheeseburger in my case) is without a doubt Jerry’s Drive-In. Best pizza would be a toss-up between Hopjacks and Ozone. Best Margarita would probably have to be TGIFriday’s.

spotlight-beaty

Russell Beaty, Class of 2008
Fire Chief, Pensacola Fire Department
Pensacola City Council

Community Involvement
West Florida High School Advisory Council
Knights of Columbus
LeaP and Youth LeaP Curriculum Committees

How has Leadership Pensacola impacted your civic leadership career?
Even being a Pensacola native, I learned a tremendous amount about our community and how the different aspects work together to make Pensacola the great place it is. I also learned about where we need to be heading and how everyone has a role in shaping our future.

Give an example of your most surprising collaboration on a community issue.
I’d have to say working on the LeaP Class of 2008 class project. Recycling is something I am passionate about and it was interesting to see the resistance we initially encountered on curb side programs. However, after the groundswell of support from progressive minded Pensacolians, the various governmental bodies all instituted curb side programs. It was also great to see our school system program be received so well. Now, generations to come will be raised with recycling as natural part of their lives.

What other Pensacola leaders would you like to work with in the future?
Wow, that would be a long list. Pensacola is blessed with so many dynamic leaders I wouldn’t know who to list first. Fortunately, by staying engaged in great organizations like Leadership Pensacola, I am able to work and meet with a number of the people I admire.

Where do you like to go in Pensacola to unwind?
I grew up spending a lot of time at the beach and I still find my greatest solace there. Whether I’m exploring Ft. Pickens, shelling on the beach, or paddling out to catch a few waves, my cares disappear.

Archive Spotlights
Fall 2009 – Grover Robinson (1998) and Megan Pratt (2005)

To nominate an alumni for the alumni spotlight, please email news@leapalumni.com.