Our VP, Lindsay Petty, put her leadership degree to the test this past year as she served as Chair of the Leadership St. Pete Class of 2022. In a deeply-enriching leadership experience, Lindsay led a group of 39 St. Pete professionals from a variety of industries and backgrounds through this annual community leadership program—one focused on personal and collective growth and development through leadership skill training and community service. We sat down with her to ask a few questions about her experience—read her reflection below!
PY: How has being involved with Leadership St. Pete changed you?
LP: LSP changed me from day one. I didn't know what I had gotten into, and I had joined a program all about a community that I thought I knew because I grew up here. But I very quickly learned how much more was happening than I was aware of. Leadership St. Pete gave me tools and resources to build a network, meet new people, and expand beyond my immediate work and social network to really build long-term relationships and also identify the opportunities and challenges within our community to tap [into] and give back.
LSP gave me incredible leadership training from day one that has continued beyond my class experience over the last six years, and I’ve been able to give back in a volunteer capacity and also bring leadership to my company. One of the most surprising parts of LSP to me was the network that I developed. While I knew it was a professional networking organization and I had been told that I would develop a lot of great relationships, I wasn’t prepared for how long-lasting many of those relationships would be. Over the last several years, I’ve met so many different people across industries I never would have met otherwise, and I’m thrilled that I can still call so many of them not only colleagues and clients, but also long-term friends.
PY: What do you think is the biggest impact Leadership St. Pete has on our community?
LP: Every year, we have brought together some of the top talent in St. Pete. We get individuals from all different walks of life, different lived experiences, and different careers and put them together. Then, they’re challenged to figure out how to work together as a team, develop their personal leadership styles, build their networks, and find new resources to work together. Following the Leadership St. Pete program, participants take this knowledge back to their companies, organizations, and their community. It’s all about the things that are important to them so they can make St. Pete have a brighter future.
Each year, Leadership St. Pete makes an impact on the community by picking a non-profit that the class helps promote, bring awareness to, raise money for, and ultimately get their hands dirty with.
PY: Talk about your experience being Chair of the Class of 2022.
LP: The opportunity to serve as the Chair for the Class of 2022 was one of the most enriching career opportunities I’ve had to date. The chance to get to know  new people on a very deep level who are coming into this program not knowing what was ahead, and then taking them through the LSP experience is one that I will look back on for many years to come.
It taught me a lot of lessons about myself. It developed my leadership skills far more than I could have imagined. And it gave me opportunities within our community that were greatly expanded from my previous year’s experience.
PY: What advice would you give to someone in the process of applying to LSP?
LP: The advice I would give to someone considering applying to Leadership St. Pete would be to take the time to get to know some alumni. Ask them about the experience, and I think that most would tell you that it was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made.
Year after year, we have many alumni continue to give countless hours back into our community by leading and guiding that next class. They do it because it was such a meaningful experience for them.
PY: How has Pyper, Inc., your employer, played a role in your LSP participation and leadership role?
LP: I’m so glad that Pyper, Inc. supported my initial journey to be part of the class of 2017, seeing the value in the program and continuing to support me over the last 6 years and ultimately, while I served in the role of Chair for the last year. The opportunities that have come with being part of this program for so many years are what have challenged me to become the business and community leader that I am today.