NAPLES -- Immokalee Foundation President and CEO Noemi Y. Perez has been selected by Leadership Florida for its 2023-2024 Education Class program. She is one of only two Southwest Florida education leaders to be selected.
Over the course of the eight-month program, Perez will join education leaders from across the state, including superintendents, school board members, educators, Florida Department of Education professionals, education foundation representatives, and other public officials. They will focus on the challenges and opportunities associated with vaulting Florida's K-12 public education to national prominence.
Now in her 15th year with The Immokalee Foundation—her fifth as President and CEO—Perez has led the implementation of The Immokalee Foundation's Career Pathways Program, an innovative approach to education that breaks new ground in preparing students for well-paying, in-demand professional careers in four specific pathways: Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Education & Human Services, Engineering & Construction Management, and Healthcare.
"Noemi's passion for the students is obvious in all that she does, and she has built a culture in which that passion is pervasive throughout the organization," said Jerry Belle, Immokalee Foundation Board Chair. "She is also a seasoned networker, reaching out to the community to promote the Foundation's mission. Internally, her willingness to delegate while leading has resulted in one of the most efficient organizations with which I have ever been involved: 39 staff support 1,300 students from grade school through postsecondary—with a historical record of a 100% high school graduation rate for Immokalee Foundation students."
A member of the Class of 2016 of Associate Leadership Collier, Noemi was named to Gulfshore Business's 2016 "40 Under 40" in 2016 and was featured in Gulfshore Life Magazine's "Women Visionaries" for the last two years. In 2023, Noemi was included in Gulfshore Business Magazine's annual "Top Women in Business" list.
She was also named Florida College Access Network's 2022 College Ready Florida Innovator for her role in developing the Foundation's innovative Career Pathways Program. The award recognizes those trying new approaches to help students get into and pay for college while inspiring younger students to plan for their futures.
"Our mission at Leadership Florida is to bring together committed leaders from all over the state to recharge their leadership skills and expand their network," said Wendy Spencer, resident and CEO of Leadership Florida. "Through this powerful community, our class participants are able to find the knowledge and inspiration to take on some of Florida's biggest challenges."
About The Immokalee Foundation: For more than 31 years, The Immokalee Foundation has been preparing the next generation of leaders through a 100% focus on education, career readiness, and professional development for students in Immokalee—from kindergarten through postsecondary education. To learn more about The Immokalee Foundation, become a mentor, signature events, volunteer as a career panel speaker or host, donate, or include the Foundation in your estate plans, please call 239-430-9122 or visit immokaleefoundation.org.
About Leadership Florida: For the past 41 years, Leadership Florida has engaged more than 3,500 leaders through a competitive application process who represent all sectors of Florida's economy and reflect the diverse demographics of the state. Through experiential classes, these leaders renew their leadership skills and build their networks with the goal of addressing key issues facing the state of Florida. For more information, visit www.leadershipflorida.org. Leadership Florida is a federally registered trademark.