The Mary Blake Distinguished Lecture & Special Event Series
The LLI Lecture Series honors Mary Blake for her enthusiasm and continuous efforts as Lecture Chairperson on the Board of Directors for many years. She was dedicated to the goal of providing interesting and unusual presentations that enlighten as well as entertain. She loved learning.
We are proud to list a new summer series of special events below featuring community leaders. Each event will begin with coffee and a "meet & greet" followed with the presentation and "Q & A." Each session begins at 10:00 a.m. in meeting room O#117 on the Charlotte campus of Florida SouthWestern State College at 26300 Airport Road, Punta Gorda.
Lecture Fees are $10 for FRIENDS members and $15 for non-members. Registration for the lectures and special events can be made by clicking on the appropriate payment button below or in the LLI office on campus in Room #B114. (firstname.lastname@example.org/941-637-3533).
July 18: “Your Punta Gorda Airport: Past, Present and Future – FLY PGD!” Featuring Pamella Seay, Punta Gorda Airport Authority
The Punta Gorda Airport is an Independent Special District. As a governmental entity, it has a county-wide elected board and operates independently, not connected to any other governmental unit in the county, subject only to that independent board of commissioners. Commissioner Seay will give a brief overview of the history of the Punta Gorda Airport, along with an explanation of its operations including funding, management, operations, and oversight. If you’re interesting in learning where the Airport will be headed next, she will also go over the Master Plan process and the current status of many projects at the Airport including Western Michigan University, therapy dogs, commerce, commercial aviation, general aviation, and more. Pamella Seay (pronounced “SEA”) is a commissioner with the Charlotte County Airport Authority, representing District 1. She is an attorney and teaches law as a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University. Ms. Seay graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law with a Juris Doctorate, and Stetson University College of Law, with a Master of Laws in International Law. Originally from Michigan, she graduated from the Kendall School of Design with a BFA in Advertising and Graphic Design and was an advertising and marketing director for several years before becoming a lawyer. She earned an MBA Certificate from Tulane University and has owned and operated her own businesses including a small law practice in Port Charlotte. She recently published a book on “Sovereign Immunity for Public Airport Operators,” and has published two books on business law and another on international travel. In her spare time, she sings and plays bells in her church choir, serves on the church finance committee and is an artist.
Thursday, August 24:"An Update on the PRWC" Featuring Dr. Robin Jenkins, Director of Veterinary Services, Punta Gorda Wildlife Ctr.
Started in 1978, PRWC is dedicated to the rescue, care, protection and preservation of native wildlife. Originally confined to the lanai of one of its founders, the Center quickly gained credibility and a new location as citizens learned of its successes in wildlife rehabilitation. A 1996 graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Robin Jenkins has spent most of her professional career in service to non-profits. She has worked with animal shelters trying to improve the health and adoption rates of homeless cats and dogs. She volunteered with Peace River Wildlife Center since 2004 in every capacity from cage cleaner to gift shop clerk to surgeon. Dr. Robin served as Executive Director of PRWC from 2014 to 2016 and is now the Director of Veterinary Services. Releasing healthy animals back out into the wild is her favorite activity, but she also enjoys working with the resident non-releasable birds as an education ambassador.
Thursday, September 14:"PG Chamber -- Up Close & Personal" Featuring John Wright, President, Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce
The mission of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce is to promote commerce in Punta Gorda and surrounding area. It is a membership-based local network of businesses, governed by a Board of Directors and run by professional staff, who work and serve to advance business interests in the area. The Chamber is a 501 (c) 6 organization and an independent organization governed exclusively by our local Board of Directors, not a construct of a national or state-run organization. It is not a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and no portion of the membership dues goes to either the U.S. or Florida State Chambers. John Wright is President of the Chamber and works tirelessly to promote Punta Gorda. When John's Florida posting with the UK government was coming to an end, Hurricane Charley hit. John had family ties here in Punta Gorda, so he decided to stay and took a year off to rebuild the family home here. Then came the most difficult decision – go back to Europe or stay. He decided to stay and was selected as President of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce in June of 2006. Since taking over the reigns at the Chamber, he has built a strong and vibrant team that is focused on business development, networking, unifying the issues facing the local business community and interacting with local authorities in working out methods to improve the overall business environment in the City.