2016 Alumni Meeting Day 2—Friday, August 5th, 2016

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“Leadership is a Beach”
Presented by: Dr. Matthew Sowcik, Assistant Professor for the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication

 Before being hired by the AEC Dept., Sowcik served as the Director of Leadership Development and Assistant Professor in the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership at Wilkes University.  Dr. Sowcik also serves as a consultant to The New York Times, focusing on the newspaper’s educational programming around leadership.

In addition, Matthew provides design, implementation, and action planning around organizational surveying, and utilizes appropriate diagnostic assessments to discover areas for leadership growth within organizations.


“Telling Ag’s Story:  Utilizing Social Media to Share Positive Messages about Agriculture”
Presented by: Ashley McLeod, Public Relations Specialist for the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education


Ashley is the public relations specialist for the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources.  At the PIE Center, Ashley is responsible for all external communications which includes preparing news releases, managing the brand, designing graphics and center publications, and organizing social media campaigns.

Before joining the PIE Center, she graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in agricultural education and communication.  Ashley developed a passion for Florida agriculture as she grew up on her family’s small cattle and forestry operation in North Florida.  Ashley looks forward to beginning graduate school in the Fall and helping to improve the communication of Florida’s agricultural issues in the future.


Click to see Ashley’s powerpoint slides from this presentation: 

Wedgworth social media workshop


“Creating a World Class Organization”
Presented by: Howe Q. Wallace, CEO, President & Chairman of the Board of PalletOne.

Howe has served as the Chief Executive Officer of PalletOne since its inception in 2001. Previously, Mr. Wallace was the Executive Vice President of Human Resources for IFCO Systems North America, Chief Human Resources Officer for PalEx, Inc., and Director of Human Resources for Ridge Pallets, Inc.

A 30-year veteran of the pallet industry, Mr. Wallace serves on the Board of Directors of the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association. He has also served on Virginia Tech’s Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design. A member of Leadership Florida, he served for six years as Chairman of Leadership Bartow and currently serves as Chairman of the Mayor’s Prayer Luncheon. He has also served as a board member for the Alpha Tau Omega National Fraternity.

Mr. Wallace holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Florida and a master’s degree from the College of Education at Michigan State University. Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.

Alumni Live & Silent Auctions

2016 WLI Alumni Live & Silent Auctions Committee Chairperson: Susie Bishop, Class VIII

Susie and her committee did a phenomenal job with this year’s auction and we are pleased to announce that it raised $20,750.00.

Thank you to all the alumni members who donated items and who also bid up and won auction items!


The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida

We were fortunate to show an incredible documentary as part of Friday evening’s hospitality lounge.

In 2015, two of our alumni, Carlton Ward (Class VII) and Mallory Dimmitt (Class VIII) set out for the Glades to Gulf Expedition, a second 1000-mile leg of the Corridor from Central Florida to the Gulf Coast, through the Big Bend, and across the Panhandle all the way to Alabama, where our trek concluded at the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

In this breathtaking video reel, they highlighted stories of ecological importance, including Longleaf Pine restoration and the health of the Gulf fishery, expanding the statewide corridor vision west to Alabama.