Following a 13 year career as Vice President of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, Debra Hendrickson will be pursuing her next leadership journey. She has served as the face of and brains behind the Leadership Winter Park program for many years and her legacy will never be forgotten. On January 16 at a LWP Alumni Council meeting, it was announced that an award would be named in her honor. The Debra Hendrickson Volunteer of the Year Award will commemorate her legacy of service to the organization and will be presented each year in December at the LWP Holiday Luncheon.
Debra wanted to share some thoughts with her Leadership Winter Park family in the letter below.
Farewell letter from Debra Hendrickson, VP, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce
For the past 13 ½ years I got paid for doing what I love. What a gig! But sometimes good things must come to an end. As Bob Dylan sang “The Times They are A-changin” and for me it meant time to write the next chapter in my life’s journey and resign as vice president of the Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Winter Park to pursue new interests. It has been a joyful experience as we shared a common vision, to create an extraordinary community of leaders.
From my first day at the Winter Park Chamber (July 2003) when Sara Portoghese (now Sara Channing YL Class 3 and LWP Class 25) walked in to my office to apply for our Youth Leaders program until last week when the LWP Council honored me with the naming of the LWP Volunteer of the Year Award the Debra Hendrickson Volunteer of the Year Award, your influence on me has been profound…you have changed my life for the better.
Our leadership program is about the people, the friendships we develop and our common memories. I have watched the program grow over the years from 30 students to 55 per year and I would be remise if I did not give LWP Class 15 a shout out for being the Best Class to me! I will miss you all but promise that when called to volunteer for LWP I will not hesitate.
Lastly, I want to thank Megan Lanier Almasi for inspiring me daily to be a better leader. She was my partner, working together to create our incredible program. Her enthusiasm and her positive, inspirational personality gave me the energy to search for the best candidates for our program, year after year. I am grateful for our relationship and I will miss our daily contact. Please give her your respect and support as she moves forward in her new role.
Until we work side by side again…farewell my Leadership WPK friends. It has been an honor to serve you.