Embracing Our Difference’s associate executive director joins a select group of young professionals who were chosen to participate in this esteemed leadership institute.

(Sarasota-Manatee, FL) Sarah Wertheimer, associate executive director of Embracing Our Differences, has been chosen as a member of Leadership Florida Connect Class VIII. She joins a select group of young professionals who were chosen to participate in this statewide leadership institute, which is designed to educate, engage and inspire Florida’s emerging leaders.

Wertheimer joined Embracing Our Differences as associate executive director in 2014. She is responsible for the development and implementation of all aspects of the organization’s fundraising and community relations campaigns. She also oversees the organization’s program growth and manages and implements its long-term sustainability goals. Prior to that, Wertheimer served as director of development for The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, and as development coordinator for Children First, Inc. Wertheimer currently serves as the chair of the diversity and inclusion committee for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and as a volunteer and event chair for Planned Parenthood of Southwest & Central Florida, Children First, Inc., and the American Cancer Society. She graduated from the Gulf Coast Leadership Institute in 2014, and served as a member of the steering committee for Equality Florida in 2015. Wertheimer graduated cum laude from the University of Central Florida with dual degrees in philosophy and Spanish.

“Sarah’s winning personality, strong work ethic, passion for hands-on projects and longstanding commitment to community involvement make her a perfect addition to the Leadership Florida Connect team,” said Michael Shelton, executive director of Embracing Our Differences. “This is an ideal opportunity for her to enhance her leadership skills and share her insights with other young rising stars. We’re thrilled she has been offered this opportunity.”

Wertheimer says she’s honored to participate in a program that, like Embracing Our Differences, values and promotes diversity.

“Respect for diversity is one of Leadership Florida’s core values,” she says. “My life is committed to building community partnerships, promoting acceptance, and finding innovative ways to empower people to live better lives while respecting our differences. I’m honored to participate with a group of people who share these values.”

Leadership Florida Connect classes are determined annually following a selective application process, which is open to Florida residents who 25 to 39 years old. The program convenes each class in some of Florida’s major cities over a 10-month period, during which members learn about key issues impacting the state and its residents. Leadership Florida Connect is a program of Leadership Florida, a nonprofit committed to enhancing the knowledge and leadership abilities of Florida’s leaders through educational programs and collaborations benefiting the state and its residents.

For 14 years, Embracing Our Differences has drawn on the passion and perception of artists, children and others to create powerful statements of diversity and acceptance in its annual outdoor public art exhibition consisting of 45 billboard-sized works of art and accompanying quotes. The scale and impact of this outdoor exhibition has continued to grow, attracting more than two million visitors since its inception. This exhibit is the heart of a year-round program of activities designed to use art as a catalyst to create awareness and promote diversity. The 2018 exhibit is scheduled for March 31 to May 31. For more information, call 941-404-5710 or visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.

About Embracing Our Differences

Embracing Our Differences is a not-for-profit organization that uses the transformational power of art and education to celebrate and promote the diversity of the human family. It accomplishes this through an annual, large-scale outdoor juried art exhibition and a comprehensive series of educational initiatives, programs and resources designed for teachers and students. Visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.