Tessa LeSage joined the Southwest Florida Community Foundation in August of 2014. As the Director of Social Innovation & Sustainability, she is working to establish new partnerships with government and business to facilitate collaboration and innovation around the region’s most pressing issues, furthering the Foundation’s mission to create Regional Change for the Common Good.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Tessa was the first Sustainability Director for the Lee County Board of County Commissioners. In her time at the County, she established a variety of organizational partnerships to facilitate a more holistic and efficient approach to decision-making, saving money and resources while promoting innovation. She worked to earn several grants that are advancing the community’s sustainability efforts. Furthermore, she led the county’s effort to create a community-wide sustainability assessment and a nationally recognized comprehensive and measurable sustainability plan, earning Lee County a 3-star designation with STAR Communities. She has been recognized as one of Southwest Florida’s accomplished young leaders, receiving Gulfshore Business’ “40 Under Forty” award. She received the Urban Land Institute’s Trailblazer Award and was a finalist for the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s, Women in Business 2014 APEX award.

Prior to joining Lee County, Ms. LeSage worked for a local non-profit organization developing and implementing policies to address a variety of community challenges, including mental health, substance abuse, and criminal justice issues. She also provided planning expertise for two local planning and civil engineering firms. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, Master of Public Administration degree from Florida Gulf Coast University, and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP).