Sarah Elwell Named CEO Of Forum Club

The Forum Club of the Palm Beaches recently hired Sarah Criser Elwell as its new executive director.

Former Executive Director Gayle Pallesen retired after 25 years in the position. Pallesen was the second person to serve as the club’s executive director in its 40-year history.

Prior to joining the Forum Club, Elwell was a public relations professional at Moore Communications Group handling brand identity, publicity, media training and event planning for companies in healthcare, biotech, tourism and more.

She comes to the Forum Club with widespread political communications experience, having served as the communications director for Congressman Bob Latta, press secretary for Congressman Gus Bilirakis and deputy press secretary for Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Elwell — the daughter of Marshall Criser III, chancellor of the State University System of Florida — received a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in applied American politics and policy from Florida State University.

The Forum Club of the Palm Beaches is Florida’s largest nonpartisan political and public affairs organization. It exists solely to bring in speakers on state, national and international matters.

Since its inception in 1976 with President Jimmy Carter as its inaugural speaker, the Forum Club strives to bring in speakers whose words and actions affect the world. The Forum Club is a private, nonprofit organization with a membership cap of 800 and a regular waiting list. For more info., visit

ABOVE: Sarah Criser Elwell