Two well-known Sarasota community figures — Rod Hershberger and Sarabeth Kalajian — were honored recently at the Intertape Polymer Group leadership breakfast benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County.
The CEO and chairman of the board of Venice-based window and door manufacturer PGT Innovations, Hershberger spoke at the event about how he got “kicked out” of school a few times growing up. “What happens to us is usually a result of our own decisions,” he told the roughly 375 people gathered for the event.
He then offered attendees a challenge: “Someone made a difference in your life that made you who you are,” says Hershberger. “Make sure, every day, you make a difference.”
As director of Sarasota County Libraries, Kalajian has worked to develop programs for children, teens and families through the library system. “What we try to do at the library is inspire and nurture lifelong learning,” she told the crowd.
Leadership, she says, isn't about the person at the helm of an organization but instead is about “creating opportunities for others to shine.”
In calling the crowd to action, Kalajian says, “sometimes, in all of our lives, we may have respected a forceful leader who directs.” But she respects leaders who “stand beside or even behind coworkers.” She adds: “I would like to encourage all of us to be quiet, from-the-side, nurturing leaders.”