Lamont Leading the Way at Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance

Bradenton, Fla. Jan. 29, 2023

Brittany Lamont ’08 has lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida for nearly her entire life and is proud of the economic growth emerging across the region she calls home. As president of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance (LWRBA), she has her fingers on the pulse of the rapid expansion taking place in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Lamont was born in Columbus, Ohio, but moved with her family to Florida as a child. While many of her friends were going away to get their degrees, looking for larger cities and university settings, she saw an incredible educational opportunity close to home.

Thanks to a great experience with dual enrollment classes in high school, Lamont knew SCF (Manatee Community College at the time) was a place she could succeed. The small classes and impactful professors at SCF allowed Lamont to thrive while studying marketing. After earning an associate in arts degree from SCF, she went to the University of South Florida to finish her four-year degree.

“I had already been introduced to State College of Florida and was familiar with it,” said Lamont. “It made the transition really easy for me from high school to college, earning my A.A. and moving on to USF.”  

Affordability and flexibility are two of the hallmarks of an SCF education. Those factors were important for Lamont, who worked full time and used scholarships from Take Stock in Children, the Manatee Community Foundation and other local organizations to complete four years of college without any student loan debt.

Lamont was the first in her family to pursue a college degree and credits her mother’s insistence as a motivating factor to begin pursuing higher education even before completing high school.

“Because my mom didn’t have the opportunity to go to college…it was very much always talked about for me from a younger age, ‘when you graduate high school you’re going to go to college.’ She always wanted me to take that next step and really instilled the importance of continuing education.”

Membership organizations like a chamber of commerce or business alliance are fast-paced settings. There are always new and recurring events, membership initiatives and challenges to stare down, all to deliver the best value to members. While she thought nonprofit work would be a temporary avenue to launching her career, it turned out her first internship with the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce propelled her to more than a decade working for the Chamber, rising to the role of vice president.

Lamont took on her latest professional challenge just over a year ago, becoming the president of LWRBA in November 2021. She is pushing the organization to grow and hopes to see more connections established for businesses in Lakewood Ranch to support and partner with each other.

“My role as president and CEO is to enhance the image of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and interact everyday with the team that delivers outcomes and ROI to our members. We want to make Lakewood Ranch not only the best place to live and to work, but to own a business as well.”

Running the LWRBA has shined a new light on the role SCF plays in the local economy. She now has a new appreciation for the College that’s different but just as powerful of the appreciation she has for the academic opportunities SCF presented to her.

“Walking the halls at SCF, I didn’t understand the impact that it had. Being on the other side of it now as an employer who is looking to hire and working with companies whose biggest issue is hiring and retaining, we lean so much on our local college system and SCF to provide those opportunities. I took for granted the institution I was in, and now I’m glad I had that experience.”

With a growing population across SCF’s service region and specifically the meteoric rise of Lakewood Ranch, Lamont knows SCF will be a key partner in workforce development, just as it has been for its first 65 years.

“It’s not just delivering students who become employees. SCF is coming to the table with solutions for the local workforce. Some of the new programs that have come out throughout the years have been really important. They are pumping out amazing talent, but I see them at the table addressing these workforce needs and coming up with the programs. SCF is really evolving and keeping that innovation going.”