Each year since 2002 (except for COVID), Greater Naples Leadership has presented the Distinguished Leadership Award to a GNL member who outstandingly exemplifies the mission of our organization–to provide proven leaders with a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about the issues and needs in Collier County and to encourage them to use their skills in bettering the community. This year we are delighted to announce Sandy Parker (Class X) as the award recipient. She is the first in many years to represent the public sector.
Sandy is the founder and sole author of Sparker’s Soapbox, a blog which she established in 2010. She provides non-partisan information and issue-based education to voters. Her goal is to promote an informed citizenry in Collier County through her research and communications. Her original blog goal was to attract 2,000 readers; she is now at 2,200 and aiming for 5,000.

Sandy’s monthly summaries cover news about Florida’s legislature, governor, cabinet and courts, as well as local county government. During each election season, she also writes and publishes voter guides about state and local candidates and various referenda on the ballot. She helps newcomers and old-timers alike with information on how our government works.
Sandy’s local civic involvement began with League of Women Voters of Collier County. An active member since 2005, she chaired and served on many committees and as president from 2009 to 2010. She is a frequently requested and popular speaker whose presentations help inform Floridians about their state and local governments. Topics include Understanding Florida Government, Get Ready to Vote in the Upcoming Elections, Looking Ahead to/Back on Current/Past Legislative Sessions and Public Education in Florida.
Sandy’s other community involvements include:

  • Southwest Florida Community Advisory Board for the Naples Daily News and the News-Press (2021).
  • GNL as an alum and frequent and popular Government Day presenter.
  • Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce member (2019 to present).
  • Press Club of Southwest Florida member (2019 to present).
  • Books for Collier Kids (Director, 2012 to 2016 and Director Emerita 2016 to present).
  • Community Foundation of Collier County (Finance Committee member 2010 to 2012).

Sandy’s expertise is invaluable in this rapidly growing region. She provides an unparalleled community service with her objective and well-researched work. Anyone who has ever listened to one of her talks or read her blog recognizes what a treasure we have in this community. She is definitely an individual who deserves to be recognized for her significant contributions to the civic life of Collier County.
Our sincere congratulations, Sandy!
Please join us for the Distinguished Leadership Award Luncheon on Thursday, March 10 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at Naples Sailing and Yacht Club.  Members should sign up as soon as possible, using the link, below.  Non-members are welcome and they should email gnloffice@gnlwebsite.org.