Heather Carruthers Photo“The program has been invaluable in meeting colleagues and networking throughout South Florida and developing my governing skills. I’ve been able to call on classmates to participate in regional planning efforts, and have introduced legislation modeled after effective measures sponsored by my classmates in other communities. But perhaps its greatest benefit has been in helping me define myself as an elected official, and comprehend the profound trust that has been given to me by voters.”

— Heather Carruthers, Monroe County Commissioner

“Participating in the Leaders of Excellence program was one of the most valuable learning experiences I have had as an elected official. The session, A Case Study in Economic Development, was extremely relevant because I serve in a municipality that is almost 90 years old and we are planning a renaissance for our city. We covered zoning overlays, new ideas for development, and a parks master plan. Leaders of Excellence should be a mandatory course for all incoming elected officials.”

— Barbara Kramer, Councilwoman, City of North Miami Beach

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“I established close connections across all areas of government and learned to collaborate on legislation. The first class collaboration was formed when Iasked State Rep. Dwight Bullard to sponsor an Anti-Cyber Bullying Bill, and Miami-Dade School Board Member Raquel Regalado agreed to support it. It was a great experience and excellent training to learn to reach across county lines and political parties and put the children first…. that’s Good Government!”

— Nora Rupert, Member, Broward School Board

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“In meeting other elected officials from the region, I learned how they struggle with the same issues I struggle with in making decisions. That was the most important lesson from the Good Government Initiative.”

— Francis Suarez, Miami Commission Chair


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“I congratulate Katy Sorenson for this wonderful project that she has championed and is making a real difference in how our elected officials govern. The Good Government Initiative teaches how to govern more effectively and is a model for other such classes. However, the most important lesson it instills in our public servants is that the main tenet of good governance is working across party lines to get the job done.”

— Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

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“You’re important people. You’ve been willing to offer yourselves and now you’ve got a big responsibility. Your quality of government can work for the benefit of the people, and what kind of America your children and grandchildren will live in. Congratulations on being part of the Good Government Initiative.”

— Senator Bob Graham, addressing the Leaders of Excellence Class