Sandra LaFlamme, Founder & President. Keynote Speaker
The South West Educational Foundation, Inc. was formed in 2007 — a 501 (c) 3 since 2008 to help the whole family. Helping to keep kids in school and family together. By having their involvement in supervised group educational, gardening & sporting programs. Community Garden’s with Harvest House, teaching children for Florida Extension Service, partnerships with Professional Baseball and local churches….helping to change the dynamic for good in our community.
OPERATION PACK LEADER is the 2016 programming dedicated to providing service canines to a parent suffering from Post-traumatic stress Disability, traumatic brain injury as a result of military , police , fire or emergency service as a result of service post 9/11. Our goal is to empower them to return to civilian and family life with dignity and independence. Total enrichment of the family. All animals are family/kid friendly.
My husband, Ret. Lt. Col Mark LaFlamme and our team have come to see that our dogs, property trained are a profound addition to the recovery from PTSD and TBI. We look to duplicate the successful programs in Florida with documented recovery from the debilitating horrors of war and trauma care. We will continue our goal of serving our family’s and preserving the foundation which is the backbone of America.
With internationally recognized trainers Mike Lorraine and David Thompson, we are specializing in existential training that will stick with the dogs for his lifetime! Serving our families for a lifetime by the support and affiliation with Dog World Sarasota. Dog World Sarasota is now a designated training facility for Sarasota PD K9 & Sarasota Search & Rescue.
I also volunteer & financially support local charitable organizations through my participation in Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate CARES. Since 2001, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate CARES has donated over $1.5 million to a wide array of non-profit educational, health, welfare, environmental and cultural arts organizations. Since 2003, we’ve sponsored 12 Habitat for Humanity homes statewide, with several more in progress. This initiative continues to position my personal & professional affiliation with Coldwell Banker as a leader in support of truly worthwhile programs.
Keynote Speaker. #1 Relocation Agent in SW Florida; Top 20% Worldwide Coldwell Banker.
Member of the National Association of Realtors and the Florida Association of Realtors. National Speakers Association. FLorida Writers. Private Pilot. Sarasota Bay Rotary. Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority. Iowa State University Alumnae. Owner of 2 AKC award wining Service Belgium Malinois Dogs
Diane Coles,Vice President
A Sarasota resident for 5 years, Diane served as Chief of Police in Michigan for 15 yrs and was also a police K9 handler/trainer with her German Shepherd Emma.
Diane is an accomplished civic and social leader — demonstrated in Emma earning her National Certification in Narcotics Detection just over 12 months old. Dianne believes children are our future — protecting & educating them in a fun way is her top priority. Emma tracks and also competes in obedience trials in between her many church & school educational appearances.
Emma has many 1st place awards earning Companion Dog/Companion Dog Excellent, Rally Novice, Advanced and Excellent titles. Emma’s suspect tracking skills have lead to multiple apprehensions of fugitives attempting to elude the police while on active duty in Michigan.
Diane and Emma retired from police work in July 2012 and have since become part of the growing team at Dog World Sarasota to train dogs, teach private and group classes as well as rehabilitate dogs with fear or aggression problems. And is currently training service dogs for PSTD and TBI.
Diane started training obedience in the mid 80’s and then went on to raise German Shepherds for pet and Police K9. Since then Diane has owned and trained many dogs and taught individual and group obedience classes over the past 15 years. She has traveled to many seminars expanding her training techniques with world renowned trainers. She has worked with and rehabilitated many aggressive dogs to become great companion dogs for their families.
About 9 yrs ago Diane rescued a Golden Retriever puppy and began training the golden puppy for AKC competition obedience. The puppy went on to earn her CGC, Therapy Dog, Companion Dog/Companion Dog Excellent, Rally Novice, Rally Advanced, and Rally Excellent titles all with many 1st place finishes.
Jill A Harlow,
Jill brings to this role the ability to support and direct executive level operational efforts with the roll out of OPERATION PACK LEADER. Her global corporate team experience combined with exceptional interpersonal skills ,a high degree of discretion required for the advancement of it’s mission .
She will be arranging complex itineraries while looking to consistently maintain a zero failure rate: keeping all beneficiaries, volunteers and canines involved on point to accomplish their travel goals.
With a heavy calendar management and process procurement experience, Jill is looking to oversee events, wishlist, shop, and donation.
Jill is owner of an Award Wining AKC Belgium Malinois.
Marsha Ritter, Board Member
Marsha Ritter has been giving back for over thirty years. Her passion for beautiful things and welcoming spaces began even earlier, during an adolescent career as a babysitter. One of her first “clients” was an interior designer. Young Marsha read, lead games & interacted with the children till bedtime. Then she started the dream — experience the space to plan designs. She believes all children have a dream — it’s just a matter of help & leadership to bring it to fruition.
Professionally, Marsha is one of the top Robb & Stucky International’s Sarasota design team members. She has associate degree in design and a portfolio of fabulous residential work. For many years, Marsha even owned and operated her own design studio. Maybe this is why Marsha always seeks to exceed client expectations – and not by a slim margin. She says, “I listen to my clients and try to give them 50% more – things they didn’t even know they wanted, but are delighted to have.” Clearly, Marsha Ritter and Robb & Stucky are a perfect match.
Marsha Ritter is relatively new to Florida, an expatriate from chilly Minnesota, but her design & volunteer skills and creativity know no borders.
Keynote Speaker: Drawing is not difficult, Seeing is the main thing.