CivicLab Appoints Newest Fellow

- Tessa LeSage from Collaboratory Appointed by National Institute -

COLUMBUS, Ind., March 11, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CivicLab is announcing the appointment of Tessa LeSage from southwest Florida’s Collaboratory as its newest fellow.

The CivicLab Fellows program selected national leaders for their unique knowledge, skills, and abilities that can be applicable to civic collaboration at the community, regional, and state level. These individuals will further CivicLab’s mission, serving dozens of partnerships that are working to address complex social challenges.

LeSage is the Chief Impact Officer at Collaboratory, southwest Florida’s community foundation located in Fort Myers, Florida. She has served as the architect and director of FutureMakers Coalition, the premier regional initiative in Southwest Florida, leading a network of 260+ individuals and 165 partner organizations with a shared goal of transforming the workforce in Southwest Florida. FutureMakers Coalition is regarded as one of Florida and the nation’s most advanced collective impact networks, winning several awards including a Talent Hub designation in 2019.

“With the success of FutureMakers, we have taken that framework to form new coalitions addressing housing and health and wellness in Southwest Florida. While we continue to refine this collaborative work, I am excited to bring these proven principles to help others create successful initiatives in their communities.”

As a CivicLab Fellow, LeSage will bring her experience and expertise to dozens more communities in the National Talent Network, support the designation of future Talent Hubs, and develop collaborative leaders across the United States. Her inter-disciplinary background combines sustainability, collective governance, talent systems, and economic development, giving her a unique ability to support communities in addressing complex social challenges.

“Tessa is the epitome of a modern collaborative leader,” said Jack Hess, executive director of CivicLab. “She blends an unwavering passion for making the world a better place with a natural demeanor and ability to bring people together and achieve something no one could accomplish alone. I have always been impressed by her impatience for change, especially at a systems level. She knows things can improve and is willing to put herself out there and make it happen. Bestowing the CivicLab fellowship to Tessa is our sincere honor.”

Many cross-sector partnerships have already engaged with CivicLab to work alongside LeSage. To learn more or to request CivicLab services, contact Dakota Pawlicki at

About CivicLab:
CivicLab is a nonprofit institute dedicated to advancing the practice of civic collaboration. CivicLab’s approach is to learn what makes community collaboration work at its best, document these discoveries, and teach and share the practices broadly. The Institute teaches collaborative community teams how to better approach complex social problems by redesigning the way they work together. Since its founding in 2012, CivicLab has partnered with and served more than 375 communities across the country and have trained more than 20,000 leaders and community stakeholders.

Media Contact:
Dakota Pawlicki
P: 815-245-3222

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Tessa Lesage Headshot