By: admin

I always knew St. Pete was special, but through Leadership St. Pete, I was able to see that the charm we feel and love is intentional. And it takes a lot of work.

Russ Williams,

Director of Recruiting

For many of us, 2020 was a crazy year, and while many events and programs were postponed or canceled, one program continued to thrive in its mission to develop leaders in St. Petersburg who represent the diversity of our local community.

Leadership St. Pete is one of the oldest programs in America. The program focuses on identifying and developing leaders in the community through creative thinking, thoughtful discussions, and hands on experience so that they emerge as even stronger members of the community after graduation.

Not only is Power Design a proud Patron Sponsor of LSP, we’re also proud to have several members of our #PDIFamily participate in the program. In 2020, Stephanie Morge (Director of Operations Training & Development) and Russ Williams (Director of Recruiting) graduated from the program. In 2021, we’re proud to have two more employees in the program; Jessica Small (Marketing Project Manager) and Morgan Permuy (Director of Engagement).

Each class is tasked with completing a class project, which involves giving back to our community through fundraising and hands-on work at the nonprofit’s site to rehab a location in need of some TLC.

For the 2020 class, one of their projects included partnering up with the Morean Arts Center and students from Gibbs High School to design the Fighting Chance Mural in the heart of downtown St. Pete. The Fighting Chance Fund was created by the City of St. Petersburg to provide relief to local, small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The mural depicts a variety of natural, educational, and artistic elements unique to the city, as well as reminders of the historic year, including young children wearing masks and a famous quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that asks, “What are you doing for others?”

Through various fundraising efforts and donations, the class of 2020 was able to raise a total of $85,960 — all benefiting the Fighting Chance Fund ($43,140), Family Resources ($22,208) and CASA ($20,162).

For both Russ and Stephanie, the experience was eye-opening, further highlighting the importance of diversity.

“We have so many opportunities to improve and help create equity and quality living for all residents,” Stephanie said. “It’s inspired me to do more for my community and those around me.”

Russ walked away from the program feeling more professionally equipped to make an impact in his life and in the lives of those around him. “Part of the program includes engaging in conversation that is not always comfortable,” Russ said. “We all have different backgrounds and leadership styles which when accepted can produce really amazing results.

As LSP Alumni now, both Stephanie and Russ encourage anyone who loves St. Pete and is looking to help make a difference to apply for the LSP Program, where you can not only make an impact, but leave a legacy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud of.

"Help make a difference, learn more about yourself, and make life-long connections.

Stephanie Morge,

Director of Operations Training & Development