- About Us
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Christine Jennings has a varied background involving finance, politics, and community service. Her 40-year career in banking culminated in a 14-year stint as the Founder, President, CEO, and Chairperson of the Board for the highly successful Sarasota Bank.
Christine retired from banking in 2004 and became a candidate for the U.S. Congress in 2006 and 2008. Her incentive to enter politics was to help improve the lives of people throughout the west coast of Florida.
In 2009 Christine accepted the challenge of turning around the financially struggling, but talented, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. With her guidance and efforts, in collaboration with the Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs, the Troupe is now financially strong and, in March 2013, has purchased their own theater. WBTT is one of the most successful performing arts groups in the area.
Since Christine moved to Sarasota in 1984, she has been president of The John and Mable Ringling Museum Board of Trustees, Sarasota Film Festival, Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Mental Health Organization, and the Downtown Association of Sarasota. In addition, she has been involved in many other community organizations such as the Florida West Coast Symphony, the Foundation Board of Florida State University, Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, American Cancer Society, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and All Faiths Food Bank, to name a few. Currently, Chris is a member of the Foundation Board of New College.
Christine has received numerous awards and recognitions. Her leadership in community service was recognized in 1997 when she became the Outstanding Volunteer for the National Society of Fundraising Executives. In 2010 Christine won the Arts Management Award, presented by the Sarasota County Arts Council, for her significant contributions to the arts and cultural life in this area. In the fall of 2012, Chris was recognized by Biz941 as one of the champions of diversity in the workplace as a result of a partnership with the Sarasota County Bar Association Diversity Committee and Booker High School. The collaboration produced a highly successful theatrical production on civil rights called We Are Sarasota. In the spring of 2013, the area’s Howard University Club honored Christine with their 2013 Humanitarian Award. In September of the same year, she received SCOPE’s Boundary Crosser Award given to those who connect people across boundary lines that traditionally divide community.