Greater Naples Leadership (GNL) is pleased to announce that Ann E. Berlam has received the GNL Distinguished Leadership Award (formerly the Parke Wright III Distinguished Leadership Award) for her exemplary contributions to the Greater Naples community.

The Distinguished Leadership Award is given annually to a Greater Naples Leadership member who strongly exemplifies the mission of the organization–to provide proven leaders with a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about the issues and needs in Collier County and to encourage the use of their skills in bettering the community.

GNL President John Hannsz said, “Ann is a role model for all those who want to make Collier County a better place to live, work and play.  She has done so much for so many, and that is why GNL felt she should receive this prestigious award.”

Berlam graduated from GNL’s Masters Class in 2002 and served as GNL President in 2006-2007.   In 2007, Governor Charles Crist appointed her to the Board of Trustees of Edison State College.  She served as Chair from 2011- 2013.  During this time, she led the search for a new President of the College and was instrumental in obtaining the funding for new facilities for education in pediatric dentistry and early childhood learning at the College.

Berlam has also been active with Fun Time Early Childhood Academy, the Community Foundation of Collier County, and the League of Women Voters.  In 2008, she was recognized as a Woman of Achievement by the Naples Chapter of the American Association of University Women and in 2013 as a Woman of Initiative by the Community Foundation for outstanding philanthropic achievement.

The GNL Masters Program educates highly accomplished men and women about the issues in Collier County through a series of 10 in-depth sessions. The year long program seeks to provide an interactive and comprehensive experience in key areas of community need. GNL accepts a class of around 45 individuals, many of whom are new to Collier County, and exposes them to sessions focusing on history, culture, healthcare, education, the environment, economic development, human services, government, Immokalee and law enforcement.  With almost 650 graduates, GNL is completing its 18th year of operation.

The Parke Wright III Distinguished Leadership Award was named for Parke Wright III (1923-2001), who, in 1995, established the initial Masters Leadership Collier Program of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, the forerunner of Greater Naples Leadership.