Ambassador Program Redux: 2023

Ambassador Program Redux: 2023

The Academy reignited the passion behind the Ambassador Program with a retrospective look back and all eyes on our future.

In 2015, two years before opening the Academy, we were joined by over 20 community and non-profit leaders interested in assisting with the creation of vocationally-focused services for adults seeking mental health recovery. From the onset, these community leaders helped us spread the word, cultivated donor support and opened doors to future employment partners. Following the Academy’s opening in 2017, these supporters became our founding Ambassadors. Thanks to their collective efforts, the Academy began digging deep roots into the Sarasota community.   

Three years later, faced with a pandemic, our Ambassador program began to lose momentum. That is, until now! Last night, we unveiled our Ambassador Program Redux 2023. We invited many new families and colleagues to join forces with our founding Ambassadors. The dining room was full of renewed energy and our Ambassador program was reborn! We welcomed our guests with a delicious spread of hors d’oeuvres, all thanks to our culinary team. 

Our very first Ambassador, Stewie Bitterman, welcomed our guests and then invited Academy member, Aaron Collmer and Executive Director William McKeever to share a retrospective of the last seven years, highlighting the growth of the Academy while simultaneously showing Aaron’s formidable personal growth and achievements. 

Board of Directors’ President Joan Geyer spoke of the “why,” the necessity of continuum of care. For mental wellness, clinical services are critical of course, but where does someone go to pursue goals that transcend mere safety and survival? Where does one go to begin to reach one’s potential? That’s where the Academy comes in. 

William returned to the mic, along with Culinary Instructor, Ben Burnside, to close the short program by laying out concrete, actionable steps that Ambassadors can take to bring us to the next level. We have big plans in store, and it will take everyone who is invested in our member’s success to help us realize our vision. This is our moment.

For more information, or to learn how to become an Academy Ambassador, please contact William McKeever at 941-921-9936.

(left to right) William McKeever and Aaron Collmer

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