Emerging Leader logo, sponsored by Bill and Barbara LittleBill and Barbara Little standing near a boat dock on the water.
Bill and Barbara Little, sponsors of the Emerging Leader Program

Vision and Purpose of the Emerging Leader Program

The Suncoast is known as an attractive region that has seen continued growth over many decades. Since 2020, a population boom has caused accelerated growth in the Sarasota/Manatee area, which comes with increased prosperity, as well as increased needs. Research shows that the wellbeing of a community largely depends on its social determinants of health (SDOH). To achieve “social and physical environments that promote good health for all”, the local health and human services sector must continue to develop compassionate and competent leaders.

Bill and Barbara Little have spent decades working in health and human services and in nursing education, respectively. They have watched ideas blossom into vibrant programs and networks that make our region unique. Together, they wish to ensure that the legacy of steady and innovative leadership continues, as our community enters a new period of change.

The Emerging Leader Program aims to develop the future leaders who will shape Sarasota’s human services community in the coming years. The Emerging Leader Award will recognize and empower emerging leaders in physical & behavioral health, human services, and arts & culture.

“The quality of life in a community rests upon the quality of life of its people” – Dr. Kay Glasser

See the 2023 Awardees

The Recipient’s Journey

Each recipient will receive a grant of $1,000 to be used to either improve their leadership skills, improve their organization, or benefit the community. Each will receive a copy of the book, The Leadership Challenge, by Kouzes and Posner, which outlines The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® Model.

Recipients will meet three times during the award year to discuss their use of the grant award, discuss community leadership challenges they are facing, and to share thoughts about being a better leader. The meetings will be facilitated by Glasser/Schoenbaum, with invited guests who will provide guidance and mentorship.

At the end of their award year, recipients will take part in a brief video presentation for the next annual Collaboration Celebration.

black and white photos of luncheon in ballroom at Michael's On East

Definition of Award and Awardees

There will be three Emerging Leader Awards presented in the following categories:

  • Physical and Behavioral Health. Includes work in mental health, counseling, addiction services, public health, community health outreach, or related work.
  • Human Services. Includes work in programs and services such as legal and social justice, housing insecurity, foster care, family services, early childhood, or supportive services for individuals with low or limited income.
  • Arts and Culture. Includes work focused on education in the arts, cultural diversity and awareness, and programs that strengthen community wellness through the arts.

Candidates for the award can be nominated by their employers, supervisors, and/or peers. Nominees are not sector-specific, and can work in public service, community service, or nonprofits.

The ideal awardee:

  • Is a successful emerging leader at entry or mid-level in their organization with a desire to further develop their leadership potential.
  • Displays a capacity to work with others, including cross-sector.
  • Focuses on the betterment of the community, put the greater good before self-interest, and they see where their organization fits into the bigger picture.
  • Is a systems thinker with a passion to find solutions.


Nomination Process

Nominations will be due by the end of the calendar year. A completed nomination includes

  • a letter from the supervisor/employer or peer, describing why their nominee is an emerging leader, and
  • a letter from the nominee describing in 500-1,000 words
    • what has made them a successful leader,
    • areas for potential growth and
    • initial proposal for use of their $1,000 grant award to either
      1. improve their leadership skills,
      2. improve their organization or
      3. benefit the community.

Please note that this proposal need not be the final use of the grant award, and can be further explored during their award year.

A decision panel will determine the award recipients, and awardees will be notified by the end of January, and invited to receive their recognition at the Collaboration Celebration luncheon held on Tuesday, February 28th by The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center.


Key Dates

  • December 1, 2022 – Applications open
  • January 6, 2023 – Applications close
  • February 10 – Awardees announced
  • February 28, 2023 – Awards presented at the Collaboration Celebration Luncheon


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The staff at Glasser/Schoenbaum have done a great job of connecting the many organizations on campus and creating a space that sparks collaboration. This sense of community extends to staff and clients alike, helping to break down barriers and leading to innovative ways to serve the community as a whole.

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Katie Becker Executive Director Parenting Matters
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Real estate is one of the greatest costs in a business budget. Our partnership with The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center allows more money to go towards our mission. And what better place to house our office than on a campus with nineteen other outreach agencies.

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Janet Kahn Executive Director Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County
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As a small organization with a staff of two, employee safety was a big consideration when we were looking for office space. We did not want our employees to be in a place where they were alone. Being on the GSHSC campus has been great because there is a whole community of like-minded professionals.

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Svetlana Kaminsky Executive Director Children's Guardian Fund
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All donations are made to The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation), and are tax deductible as provided by law. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. Our Registration is #CH1216. 100% of your contribution goes to support The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center, Inc. EIN 59-2707877