Leadership Development Program

Join Our Second Cohort of Leadership Development Participants

Focus on Emerging Leaders: OTs Inspiring Others - Interact with Mentors - Expand Knowledge and Skills.

Saturday, May 12, 2018; 8:30-4:30pm, 

Nova Southeastern University 3301 College Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314

6 CEU Course for under $50.00


Open to OT/OTA/Students

Keynote Speaker: Sandra Dunbar, DPA, OTR/L, FAOTA

  • Inspire
     – OT leaders in clinical, academic and management venues will identify the skills that OT practitioners need to effectively lead on the job, in their careers, and for their profession.
  • Interact - Talk with OTA peers and experienced practitioners in breakout sessions designed to reveal leadership qualities within. Keynote Speaker Sandee Dunbar, DPA, OTR/L, FAOTA literally “wrote the book” on leadership in the OT profession. 
  • Expand - Gain knowledge about the mission and initiatives of the Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA), and the ways OTAs can grow their leadership skills within their state

Course Objectives  | Course Description | Day Agenda | More Program Information


Course description:  Participants will be selected by nomination. The participants will engage in a day of continuing education and dynamic discussions on the topic of leadership and service in the context of the state professional association for occupational therapy. A variety of speakers, presentations, and discussions will be provided on leadership practices and principles as well as the diversity of roles in leadership that exist in FOTA. The event will culminate with participants identifying and committing to aspects of FOTA that they would be involved in volunteering and begin growing into leadership roles in those areas. Participants will be connected to a current FOTA leader who can act in the capacity of mentor and facilitate increased service to FOTA and guide leadership development.


Nominations due by April 7th, 2018

Leadership Event Learning Objectives

   Participants will:

 1.     Identify various leadership styles (practices)

2.     Identify behaviors and characteristics of leaders (communication/visibility).

3.     Gain an understanding of the FOTA organization, its mission and vision

4.     Understand FOTA Strategic Plan support for leadership development

5.     Explore available FOTA leadership options

6.     Reflect on their own leadership journey

7.     Recognize their own potential leadership role within FOTA

8.     Develop meaningful professional fulfillment through leadership practices


Leadership Event Agenda 

  1. Welcome and introductions: presenters, attendees: title, current job, etc
  2. Review objectives, goals for the day, results of surveys attendees took ahead of time
  3. Keynote Speaker on Leadership Practices in the Context of a State Association: Sandee Dunbar
  4. Leadership discussion  Styles       Behaviors / characteristics
  5. FOTA – as an organization
  6. FOTA Strategic Plan; Bylaws
  7. FOTA Leadership:   Voting board / non-voting leaders; positions: elected / appointed
  9. ROUNDTABLES / BREAK OUT SESSIONS: 6 10 minute sessions in one hour (if we have 20-25 participants, that will = approx.. 4 per group. Can do a round robin.
  10. FOTA leaders will conduct small group presentation: share job description in own words, pros / cons, time commitment, etc. FOTA leaders should be given outline of information to share.
  11. Regroup – feedback from attendees
  12. Time for commitment  - participants consider plans to engage in interest areas as volunteers. Mentorship connections set-up in association with expressed areas of interest.

Leadership Event Participant Selection

  1. Process - OT practitioner and student participants will be recruited through a call for nominations from FOTA membership and board members, or by self-nomination using an online form. The call for nominations will be promoted through FOTA social media, website, e-mail blasts and member updates. Student nominations will come from OT program faculty. A nominations selection committee will create a list of those who shall be invited to participate in this event based on criteria as defined below.

  2. Criteria - Participants who are nominated will be considered and selected to be invited based on eligibility criteria including FOTA membership, history of volunteerism in service to FOTA, or school SOTA, or leadership in community and the workplace relevant and significant to leadership opportunities within FOTA .

More Information

Purpose of the Leadership Development Pilot Program is:

1. To identify future FOTA leaders to serve FOTA in board and/or other identified leadership positions.

2. To provide future FOTA leaders with resources/programs to develop leadership skills, via strategic mentorship opportunities within the state.

3. To develop an ongoing process of mentorship in leadership within the organization’s yearly activities.
For more information on this leadership event contact the committee chair Brent Cheyne at president@flota.org

Nominations due by April 7th, 2018





Leadership Development Cohort Number One: Focus on OTAs


On August 5th, FOTA held its first leadership development event targeting Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) hosted by the OTA program at Polk State College in Winter Haven, FL. OTAs nominated from across the state of Florida attended the one-day continuing education event provided by the FOTA Leadership Development Committee. In total, 20 OTAs participated in a day discussing leadership including objectives to:

1.     Identify various leadership practices

2.     Identify behaviors and characteristics of leaders

3.     Gain an understanding of the FOTA organization, its mission and vision

4.     Understand FOTA Strategic Plan support for leadership development

5.     Explore available FOTA leadership options

6.     Reflect on their own leadership journey

7.     Recognize their own potential leadership role within FOTA



Our guest speaker for the event was Sandee Dunbar, DPA, OTR/L, FAOTA, who provided an engaging talk on leadership practices, and self-assessment of leadership strengths. Our leadership committee, provided roundtable style interactive discussions on leadership concepts, personal and professional goals, and the various roles and opportunities available for leadership within FOTA as an organization. We extend our sincere appreciation to all who attended this inaugural event and thanks for your feedback on how to improve the course for future events. Make no mistake, OTAs are always welcome to the table in our organization and will be an important part of our vision of FOTA in the future.


One major goal of this event was to engage OTAs and encourage the increasing involvement of OTAs in FOTA volunteer and leadership roles. This event was the first in a planned ongoing effort to regularly meet with various groups including OTAs, newly graduated OTs, and more experienced clinicians and invite more people to be involved in FOTA as an organization.


Special thanks go out to the Leadership Development Committee: Susan Skees-Hermes, Elena Vizvary, Jordan Powers, David Pallister, and Debbie Misrahi. It has been a pleasure working together to develop and implement this pilot program.



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