Dear GNL Members,

GNL today is a vibrant and well recognized leadership organization in Collier County. Our members are highly sought after contributors and leaders in nonprofit organizations throughout our community, and, true to our mission, most of our alumni have made our community a better place. This foundation of excellence is because we have a long list of volunteer leaders who have tirelessly and strategically contributed to our organization for almost three decades. And, today, we are looking back gratefully on another successful year under the leadership of Kitty Keane and her Board as we make the annual transition to new leadership. We all can be proud of being part of such an outstanding heritage.

This year we have a Board of 18 Directors and 11 committees composed of dozens of energized volunteer members. This talented group of people is already working diligently on many new and exciting events for you during the coming season. Here is  a sampling of what is planned.

  • We will officially kick off the season on November 13 with our Welcome Back party for all GNL members at Arthrex, which promises a spectacular and yet relaxed setting to reconnect with all our GNL friends.
  • Throughout the season we will continue to offer stimulating educational events at ACE luncheons where we will hear about coastal hurricane protection plans and the Schulze Family Foundation needs assessment initiative, among other relevant topics. Our recently created “Roadtrippers” committee is planning a series of trips (such as to the Everglades). Other educational trips will include a visit to the high-tech recycling center, where we will learn how our plastic trash is kept out of the environment and used productively. Towards the end of the season we will offer an exclusive tour of a world-class private glass art collection.
  • Brand new will be the unique opportunity for GNL members to attend an online course about the latest in Artificial Intelligence (AI). If you are not a tech expert and wonder what AI is all about, this is for you. The lecturers (with Columbia University, Microsoft, Cornell backgrounds) are highly sought after and their courses are typically expensive to attend, but we will provide this to you for free. As community leaders, we need to stay current with these technology developments that will change our society profoundly. I hope that many of you will make use of this great offering. The course will be in five installments from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM on October 24, 31 and November 7, 14 and 21. More details will be available later.
  • We are ready to offer Masters Class XXVII an exceptional experience with our refreshed curriculum. The class opening retreat will be in October, and at the same time we will open registration for Masters Class XXVIII. We will call on all members to recommend suitable candidates. It is our very active membership sponsoring system that has filled our classes year after year with highly talented and highly motivated participants. Please spread the word.
  • Of course, GNL is not all about education. It also provides a wonderful framework for our members to get together in relaxed social environments where we can exchange ideas, enjoy each other’s company, and create lasting friendships.
  • Finally, we have a new, inspiring theme for this season — Civil Discourse. Many factors, such as profound changes in the marketing and dissemination of news, social media, and new styles of political discourse, have polarized our society to the extent that we seem to have forgotten how to disagree without being disagreeable. The likely future misuse of emerging AI will make it even worse. It will take all of us to change course and bring civility back as we interact across ideological lines. In Collier County, GNL is well situated to make a difference. Many of our members are leaders in nonprofit organizations and political groups and are role models. With the right tools in hand, we can influence change. During the season we will provide you with helpful information on how to accomplish this important goal.

I truly hope that you are looking forward as much as I am to an extraordinarily interesting and stimulating year at GNL.

Sincerely yours,

Gunther Winkler
President 2023-2024