Southwest Florida has no shortage of strong leaders in its nonprofit sector, and readers supported an extraordinary number of them, but the top vote-getter this year was Tom Waters, revered executive director for Easter Seals of Southwest Florida. In the runner-up spot is relative newcomer Jennifer Rominiecki, executive director of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. In the second runner-up spot is Shelley Thayer, who leads Cat Depot, while Bob Rosinsky, Goodwill Manasota’s fearless leader, came in as third runner-up this year.

Kristie Geimer (on Tom Waters): He truly cares about the employees and the clients we serve. Mr. Waters has set many goals and made so much progress in a short amount of time. We have made greater connections and friendships within the community, expanded programs and increased experiences for clients under his leadership. Barbara Kaminsky-Stern (on Jennifer Rominiecki): Jennifer Rominiecki has brought energy and possibility to Selby Gardens. Neila Delice (on Tom Waters): Mr Tom Waters’ leadership has improved the organization ( Easter Seals of Southwest Florida) because he is great at what he’s doing, bringing in more people who have the heart to serve and are willing to donate to make a difference in the life of others. He renovated the building, he advocated for us and we got a raise, he brought in the 4 Ps: Passion, Patience, Productive, Partnership. I remember when he first joined the company, he took the time to get to know every single staff.