Lutgert News

Southwest Florida Leadership Institute

June 16, 2021  / Lutgert News  / Tags: Community, Institutes / Centers / Initiatives, Management, Leadership

A newly created institute within the Lutgert College of Business will support leadership development within the region’s growing business community.

The goal of the Southwest Florida Leadership Institute (SFLI) is to strengthen engagement by offering leadership-focused initiatives in the community while engaging students in learning activities that will serve to develop future business leaders. The SFLI will offer customized business consulting, professional development workshops, training programs on leadership topics, and digital badging curriculum for business leadership competencies. Further, as part of the SFLI, the Newton Ethical Leadership Initiative (NELI) hosts guest speakers, community roundtables, and high school ethics competitions, among other business-ethics related activities. The SFLI will also serve as home to global leadership initiatives, such as the development of a Future Global Leadership Academy.

We possess the local expertise to assist organizations facing complex challenges.

The new SFLI directly aligns with the university’s strategic plan, which calls for forging partnerships with the local community and offering them access not only to buildings and programs, but to its intellectual community.

“The creation of the SFLI will allow for more targeted community outreach in the areas of leadership and management,” says Dr. Jenny Manegold, chair of Lutgert’s Management Department. Manegold will serve as director of the SFLI until a national search yields a permanent director.

“The SFLI taps into our Management Department’s strengths in the areas of International Business, Organizational Management, and Ethics,” adds Lutgert Dean Dr. Chris Westley. “The Institute’s benefits to our region will go far in promoting the area’s economy.”

“We possess the local expertise to assist organizations facing complex challenges,” adds Manegold. “Our own business faculty will develop training materials, workshops, and consulting practices for community organizations and executives.”

Local business leaders are excited about the new initiative. “To my knowledge there is not another entity within the university that would provide such developmental support services to Southwest Florida’s growing business community,” says Robert Oberwise, CEO and Managing Partner of the international business consulting firm Executive Partners. Oberwise also serves as a member of the SFLI’s external advisory board. “The addition of a leader institute is a win for local businesses, a win for the local community and a win for the university.”

Community and business leaders interested in investigating partnerships with the SFLI can reach Dr. Manegold via email ( or phone 239-590-7385.