Michelle McLeod Interview – Honored by ULI For Women’s History Month

The goal of Women’s History Month is to recognize the impact that women have locally, nationally and internationally.  ULI Southwest Florida showcased some outstanding women leaders this month.  Michelle is one of those leaders.

Brief Bio

If I could do it all over again, I would have been an urban planner. Having served as an elected official in a capacity of making land development decisions I have come to love all that goes into it… zoning and rezoning, growth management and comprehensive plans, formulating policies, reading and deciphering codes and ordinances, details of PUDs and PDs, and everything else involved in land development.

Because of the amazing experience I had on the Naples City Council, I am now running for Collier County Commissioner, District 4 to take my land development experience to a county level.

What woman inspires you and why?

Women who inspire me are women who take big, bold steps in initiating big ideas like Kristen Coury. After moving to Naples from New York City in 2004, Kristen started Gulfshore Playhouse which is a huge success in our community. Part 2 of her dream is bringing a state-of-the-art Theatre and Education Center to Naples which is well on its way of coming to fruition.

What advice (professional or personal) would you give to your younger self?

The advice I would have given my younger self would have been to:

  • Get involved in Toastmaster early on and stay involved in it.
  • Don’t be afraid to sit at the head of the table in the dining room, boardroom, or any other room.
  • Acknowledge that your learning style is different than others and embrace it.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. Think of yourself as a work in progress.

What lead you to your career in real estate development/land use?

I started volunteering and serving on community and government advisory boards which led me to run for the Naples City Council where I had the honor and privilege of making significant land development decisions for the City of Naples.

St Patrick’s Day Parade

Michelle McLeod on International Women’s Day

March 8th will now be recognized as “International Women’s Day in Collier County” as proclaimed by the Collier Board of County Commissioners to highlight the work the Women’s Foundation of Collier County accomplishes to benefit women and girls in our community! The proclamation, sponsored by County Commissioner Andy Solis, acknowledges how WFCC positively impacts the lives of women and girls in Collier County through grant making, advocacy, and education efforts.

International Women’s Day has been observed since 1911 as a day to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements.


WHEREAS, International Women’s Day has been observed since 1911 as a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women; and

WHEREAS, the Women’s Foundation of Collier County serves as a catalyst for change in the lives of women and girls in Collier; and

WHEREAS, Aims to meet the current needs of senior women in our community assisting homeless senior women in need and address isolation concerns; and

WHEREAS, Empowers young women and girls to meet their full potential through scholarships, mentorships and career development; and

WHEREAS, Recognizes the important role women play in Collier Country through its Women of Initiative awards, which honor local women leaders who are an inspiration to women seeking to make a difference through philanthropy and civic engagement; and

WHEREAS, Women account for more than 50% of Collier County’s population, and there are women serving locally in leadership positions, inspiring the continued work in advancing opportunities for women and girls of all backgrounds

NOW THEREFORE, be it proclaimed by the Board of County Commissioners of Collier County, Florida, that March 8 be designated as

International Women’s Day in Collier County



Michelle McLeod on Mental Health

Coalition for Healthy Minds Launched to address the Mental Health and Addiction Crisis in our Community

(Story from November Old Naples News)


Collier Coalition for Healthy Minds (CCHM) is charged with mobilizing Collier County’s first-ever, five-year mental health and addiction services strategic plan.

The Coalition was born out of an Ad Hoc committee with members appointed by the Collier County Board of Commissioners whose sole purpose was to create the strategic plan. The plan was adopted in December 2019 and CCHM was formerly established in 2020 with expanded community members representing healthcare, social service, legal and justice system professionals, and mental health advocates.

The CCHM mission is to respond to the growing mental health and addiction crisis currently being compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, opioid epidemic, and suicide crisis.
“All Americans face challenges in life that can impact their mental health, especially during a pandemic. The coalition is focused on creating awareness around what individuals can do throughout their daily lives to prioritize mental health, and build resiliency,” said Scott Burgess, CEO of David Lawrence Centers and Chair of Collier Coalition for Healthy Minds. “Our partners are collaboratively focused on developing evidence-informed tools and resources that can support the well-being of individuals and our community. Our message is simple, with effective, accessible, and holistic support, individuals with mental health challenges can recover and lead full, productive lives.”


CCHM priorities include crisis support, housing, data sharing, justice system response, transportation, education as well as special considerations for veterans and seniors.
Healthy Minds is now actively engaging the community to be part of the solution of the crisis in Collier County through in- person and virtual, customizable educational opportunities and special events as well as the launch of their new website.

To date, the coalition has provided education to more than 700 people about the county’s response to the crisis and the progress being made on each of the six priorities through 17 different organizational meetings such as churches, the Collier County Bar Association, Collier County League of Women Voters, Leadership Collier, Naples Rotary Club and Andy Solis’ Coffee with the Commissioner. For each speaking engagement, the Coalition presents a consistent message that strives to include three elements:

  • The impact of mental illness and addiction on our community and how the coalition is working to address these issues
  • Warning signs and symptoms of suicide, mental illness and substance use disorders in order to equip individuals with the tools needed to identify and support those who may be struggling
  • Real-life experiences and/or personal testimonials on how mental illness and/or addiction has affected their life, helping to destigmatize these common challenges


CollierHealthyMinds.com is bringing awareness to their mission and the strategic plan’s six priorities. The website provides local and national resources, suicide prevention and a robust news section that highlights the community’s progress on the priorities and special considerations. Through the site’s Connect section, visitors can request educational presentations.
The site also boasts Wellness Tips where coalition partner agencies such as David Lawrence Centers for Mental Health, Blue Zones, NAMI, Hunger and Homeless Coalition, Wounded Warriors of Collier County, Lee Health, Project Help, and Collier County Public Schools supply information about healthy ways to manage your mental health. You can also find Caregiver Tips from CCHM volunteers with lived experience with helping loved ones battle mental illness and addiction.

Margot Moran, who recently lost her brother to suicide, is passionate about sharing her experience to help prevent unnecessary loss of life and suffering. In her Caregiver Tip, she talks about the importance of taking your loved one seriously if they talk about wanting to take their life.

“My brother was feeling suicidal, but he told me not to worry. He promised he would never do it. I felt a sigh of relief having suicide off the table,” said Moran. “I never asked him about it anymore because I didn’t want to put any ideas in his head. Unfortunately, that haunts me today. Follow up, ask your loved one questions about having suicidal thoughts, and check on them regularly. I sure wish I had.”

Funding for the development of the strategic plan as well as the CCHM marketing efforts has been provided by the Community Foundation of Collier County who is also a member of the Coalition. In a true community effort, Collier County voters also stepped up to fund the coalition’s number one priority a centralized, expanded mental health and substance addiction facility. In collaboration with other funders, the Community Foundation of Collier County is helping raise money to staff the facility and expand these local services through their “Your Passion. Your Collier.” campaign. The $15.5 million campaign will tackle six significant concerns: mental health & substance abuse, housing & hunger, education & employment, seniors & veterans, environment & accessibility, and crisis & disaster relief.

Join us in our efforts to help save lives. Engage with CCHM by becoming an advocate, talking about mental health and stopping the stigma, supporting our partner non-profits, learning more through educational opportunities, and signing up for Mental Health First Aid training. For more information, visit CollierHealthyMinds.com.

Bayshore Development Update – Advisory Committee Endorses Boardwalk – No Condos

Last Wednesday’s CRA Advisory Board meeting was exciting and kept you on the edge of your seat. The overwhelming sentiment from the board and the numerous residents who came to speak was to develop a park for the 17 acre parcel.

The result of the discussion was a unanimous vote from the board to recommend to the county commissioners approval of a proposal from Stantec to create a master plan for the parcel to include a boardwalk connecting it to Sugden park.

A meeting to discuss this project before the county commissioners is set for January 11, 2022. Plan to attend and sign up to speak to share you thoughts on the prospects of these exciting developments for the 17 acre parcel in your community.

Cultural Arts Center on Bayshore?

Michelle McLeod – Walking the streets in Bayshore to find their needs and desires for better government services.

17 Acre Parcel of Undeveloped Land Available

As I’ve been going door to door and attending the Bayshore CRA Advisory Board meetings for the last several months, I have found that the Bayshore community still has a strong desire to have a cultural and performing arts center on the 17 acres of undeveloped land owned by the CRA in the district.

At the September 14 county commissioners’ meeting, an unsolicited offer of $2.5 million was presented for the 17 acre parcel. Talk of putting the property up for sale was discussed but concluded with the county commissioners asking the Bayshore CRA Advisory Board to make a recommendation at their next CRA meeting as to what direction to take with the 17 acres.

A Move Into Action

Realizing this time sensitive opportunity, I jumped into action and started making numerous phone calls, arranging meetings and connecting an established arts organization with the CRA Advisory Board members to consider a new plan for a cultural and performing arts center nestled within a park setting.

If the CRA Advisory Board accepts and recommends the suggested plans for this parcel, Bayshore may finally get their wish of a cultural and performing arts center on the 17 acre parcel.

The Bayshore CRA Advisory Board members will hear these plans, as a board, at the Bayshore CRA meeting on Tuesday, October 5 at 6:00 pm in the Collier County Commission Chambers to make a recommendation to the County Commissioners on the plans for this parcel. Please attend this next meeting and sign up for public comment to share your hopes and desires for this last remaining gem in Bayshore.


Let me know what you think, please fill out the form below.

Fill out my online form.

Save Bayshore From Mosquitos

Michelle McLeod

As I’ve walked your neighborhood, going door to door to hear from you, one of the top complaints shared has been how bad the mosquitos are. I know this to be true as I have had to spray deet on myself to bear being outdoors in Bayshore.

Unfortunately, your current commissioner Penny Taylor, was the lone vote against the expansion of Mosquito Control’s boundaries surrounding your neighborhood.    This is while the West Nile virus has been testing positively in most of the District’s mosquito traps.  Thankfully, the other county commissioners voted yes on the expansion to move this initiative forward.

The next step needed to expand the District’s boundaries is to go to the county’s delegation hearing in December.

The Delegation members are Representative Lauren Melo, Representative Bob Rommel, Representative Ana Maria Rodriguez, and Senator Kathleen Passidomo.

With your help, we can get this done.

Our plan of action:

  • Unite as a community to let the Delegation members know the importance of the passing of this bill.
  • Fill out the form below to join the effort.

I’m willing to carry the ball to the finish line, meet with legislators and get this bill passed. With your help, we can improve the quality of life and public health in Bayshore.

Michelle McLeod

View Expansion Plan Here

Fill out my online form.

McLeod Announces Run for County Commissioner

Former City of Naples councilwoman, Michelle McLeod, has announced her candidacy to run for the District 4 Collier County Commission seat.

Through her decades of service on community boards and four years in public office, McLeod’s accomplishments are numerous.  On Council, she helped lead the efforts on three significant landmark projects: the development of Baker Park, the reconstruction of the Naples City Dock and the construction of the city’s Emergency Operations Center… all designed and completed under budget during her term.  McLeod also led the charge on initiatives and policies related to the “complete streets” model and Blue Zone principles that helped move Naples from being 73rd in the nation the year before she entered office to being the #1 healthiest and happiest community in the country.

McLeod’s other work through her community service has focused on issues related to mental health, women’s initiatives, housing solutions, and employment and leadership advancement opportunities.

As a native Floridian who has lived and worked, both in the public and private sector, in the City of Naples for more than 25 years, McLeod not only brings a unique historic perspective to the table, but also an in-depth knowledge of city and county issues ranging from comprehensive planning, zoning and land use regulations to financial planning and economic sustainability.

As a county commissioner, McLeod’s number one priority will be in adhering to the county’s growth management plan and land development codes while protecting individual property rights.  Collier County is limited in the amount of areas left for development and McLeod’s main focus will be on achieving self-sustaining, environmentally protected, healthy, walkable communities.

In addition, McLeod is committed to working with the county’s senior leadership team to grow the county’s budgetary reserves and pay down its debt. McLeod is also passionate about protecting and managing water resources and its infrastructure, improving communications between the city and the county, and developing housing solutions for the county’s working citizens.

McLeod prides herself as one who bases her decisions on community input and evidence-based data. “It is important to me to work with residents and businesses to uncover needs and desires,” McLeod stated, “I love this community: the people, the environment, its values. I will continue to make smart decisions for our community to keep Collier County one of the most desirable places to enjoy life.”

Michelle McLeod is a third generation Floridian, raised in Fort Myers.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana and a master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Florida Gulf Coast University.  McLeod is also a graduate of Leadership Collier, Class 2014 and Leadership Florida, Class XXXVI.  Her over 30-year business career has been in hotel management and banking.

For more information:

Contact: Michelle McLeod

Email: michelle@mcleodforcommissioner.com