Leadership Saint Leo Program Earns Top Honors

June 05, 2017

Best Channel Partner Customer Training Program Logo

Leadership Saint Leo, the university’s program to develop and train leaders, recently was honored at the LEAD2017 forum hosted by HR.com in Nashville, TN.

LEAD2017 is a two-day forum that brings together top thought leaders and the world's best leadership practices.

The Leadership Saint Leo program began in 2005 to expand leadership capacity, build culture, and create a common leadership lexicon across the university, including its education centers, online offices, and University Campus. The 13th cohort started its program in April.

Approximately 110 of Saint Leo’s active leaders have graduated from the program, having met every month for 10 months for an all-day workshop that incorporates a variety of lecture, discussion, case study, and experiential activities along with supplemental coaching provided by the university’s leaders.

Saint Leo’s program is conducted by CODA Partners Inc., a professional services firm based in Gulfport and Dade City. Its principal partners are Jim Sartain and Kathy Davanzo, who have collaborated to design and provide leadership development programs for more than 25 years. They created the award-winning Leadership Saint Leo program to develop the leadership talents of university managers, incorporate the university’s six core values in the effective leader behaviors being taught, and promote effective teamwork and mentorship.

In applying for the LEAD awards, Joe Arner, director of Professional Development, surveyed past participants and graduates. Based on the feedback, HR.com recognized the Leadership Saint Leo program, selected from entrants, in the following categories: 

  • First place Best Third Party Channel Partner/Customer Training Program;
  • Second place Best Use of Executive Coaching;
  • Fourth place Best Use of Team Building;
  • Fifth place Best Mentoring Program; and
  • Sixth place Best Experienced/Senior Leaders Program.

“Every single year, changes have been made in the program,” Arner said, “to deal with changes we’re experiencing at the university.”

Changes also are made to the program to incorporate the latest research, Sartain added.

The newest iteration of the program includes features such as a leadership journal to help facilitate participant’s deeper exploration of the classroom content, and a highly successful Leader P.O.V.® capstone experience that helps participants explore, clarify, and refine their personal leadership philosophy and to share it with others as a culminating program activity. 

Shot of Joe Arner, director of Professional Development at Saint Leo University; Liz Yourkievitz, CODA associate partner; and Jim Sartain, CODA principal partner

Pictured above left to right: Joe Arner,Director of Professional Development at Saint Leo University; Liz Yourkievitz, CODA associate partner; and Jim Sartain, CODA principal partner.