Chief Development Officer
Sarasota Military Academy has recently hired C.J. Bannister, a local veteran, to lead the newly-formed Sarasota Military Academy Foundation, Inc. as its Chief Development Officer.
“We are extremely proud to have C.J. Bannister as a part of our team at Sarasota Military Academy,” said SMA Colonel Christina Bowman, Sarasota Military Academy Executive Director of Schools. “While our parents and students are well-aware of our mission and what we are able to do as an Academy, we are excited to have C.J.’s energy, experience and passion as she helps us develop our Foundation to solidify SMA’s legacy and longevity in this community.”
In this new role, Bannister will focus on strategy, planning and administration duties for the Foundation in addition to recognizing fundraising, major gifts and planned giving opportunities. Previously, Bannister worked for a local non-profit organization where she led efforts to provide services to veterans as they faced barriers to employment.
“It has been my honor to serve other veterans in this community through a variety of facets, and I am proud to lead the new Sarasota Military Academy Foundation,” said C.J. Bannister, Sarasota Military Academy Foundation, Inc. Chief Development Officer. “As someone who has served in the Armed Forces and in the local development community, I have a unique perspective on how we can continue to produce leaders through the academy, through our innovative programs and with the help of local partners.”
After graduating from high school, Bannister joined the United States Air Force and served as a Crew Chief, then moved into training as a Paralegal and worked with Judge Advocate General Corps, commonly known as JAG, for the remainder of her time in the Armed Forces. She earned the rank of Staff Sergeant along with many notable awards and medals until she ended her military career in 2001. Before joining the nonprofit and development industry, Bannister worked as a financial advisor, and she has continued her community involvement and volunteers with a variety of local organizations.