Clermont’s city manager has been chosen for an elite statewide leadership program.
Leadership Florida recently announced that Darren Gray will be part of its Cornerstone Class 38 for 2019-2020. Leadership Florida’s members represent the highest levels of leadership from Florida’s many diverse sectors.
“Mr. Gray is truly worthy of being selected for the Leadership Florida program,” Clermont Mayor Gail Ash said. “It is further validation of the outstanding job he has done as Clermont’s city manager. His vision for what Clermont could be has resulted in initiatives that have made our city a prime location for business, recreation, athletics and living. Our city is truly fortunate to have such an exceptional leader guiding us into the future!”
Gray will be one of five classmates representing the East Central Region. He will join 55 other influential Florida leaders in Class 38, including corporate CEOs, business owners, educators, elected officials and nonprofit executives.
The eight-month learning experience will bring Gray and the rest of the class to Westgate River Ranch Resort in Eastern Polk County, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Miami and Boca Raton.
“It’s an honor to join this incredible group of leaders across the state,” Gray said. “I’m excited to connect with everyone and to bring back what I learn to benefit the City of Clermont, Choice of Champions.”
Gray has built an extensive career as an exceptional leader. The Navy veteran has spent 24 years in public administration, currently as CEO of Lake County’s largest city since 2012, and previously as Lake County’s manager and in several high-level positions for Orange County. He has been integral to elevating the city’s reputation, attracting world-class athletes and events to Clermont.
Under Darren’s management, the city rebranded, adopted an award-winning Master Plan and earned numerous awards, including Best Central Florida City to Live In and Top 20 American Cities Leading the Way in Economic Development and Quality of Life. Gray has been named Lake County’s Leader of the Year, received the Alumni Achievement Award in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida and is a graduate of Leadership Lake County and Leadership Orlando.
The Leadership Florida selection committee, comprised of Leadership Florida graduates from throughout the state, sought to identify people most likely to utilize their leadership abilities for the long-term benefit of Florida. Based in Tallahassee, Leadership Florida was founded in 1982 to bring together emerging and existing leaders from across Florida to challenge, prepare and inspire them to build a better Florida.