Leadership Cleveland generates appreciation for local community
Sep 09, 2012 | 628 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The 2011-12 Leadership Class
The 2011-12 Leadership Class
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“Growing up in Cleveland, you don’t [always] think of our town as one that has a lot to offer,” 2012 graduate Lindsey Cooke Wagner, Cooke’s Food Store, said about taking the local community for granted.

“Leadership Cleveland showed me what great assets we have at our fingertips and how they can be used.”

Leadership Cleveland is an adult program of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce that provides an educational experience to build bridges to community leadership.

For more than 28 years, the program has enabled participants to understand better the local community and to prepare for the challenges it faces by learning about the many facets of Cleveland and Bradley County.

“As a leader in Cleveland and Bradley County, the information and education I received from the program is so valuable for recruiting new health care professionals,” said Bernadette DePrez, COO and chief nursing officer, SkyRidge Medical Center.

“The program is excellent for networking too, and is well organized.”

The application process for the 2012-13 class of the Chamber’s Leadership Cleveland program has begun, announced Regions Bank’s Terri Boyd, chairwoman of the steering committee for the program. Since its introduction in 1984, more than 350 participants have graduated from the eight-month program.

The goal of Leadership Cleveland is for participants to develop leadership skills and greater knowledge about Cleveland and Bradley County through a series of one-day sessions and an overnight trip.

Topics covered include Education, Public Safety, Law Enforcement, Local Economy, Healthcare, Local and State Government, and Tourism, presented through lectures, discussion, tours, on-site visitations, and informal question-and-answer sessions.

“Leadership Cleveland is a great avenue for new employees or those that need to have contacts to help them or their business thrive,” stressed 2012 graduate Suzanne Bayne, Cleveland State Community College. “I would strongly urge anyone who is given the opportunity to jump on board.”

Bernadette Douglas, Chamber executive vice president, defined Leadership Cleveland as an “educational experience.”

“The goal of the program is to open the minds of participants to the perspectives that surround each issue,” Douglas explained. “Through consideration of these perspectives, participants are enabled to become more visionary leaders in our community.”

Douglas added that many graduates of the program have gone on to become involved in a variety of aspects of the community, from involvement on Chamber committees and task forces to local government and leadership positions in other volunteer organizations.

“The program will definitely give you a new appreciation for our community, from those working behind the scenes to those representing us in Nashville,” Christy Phillips, Easy Auto Credit, said at the conclusion of the 2011-12 Leadership Cleveland class. “When we all work together, we cannot only survive, but thrive.”

The 2012-13 class will run from September 2012 through May 2013. Those interested should call the Chamber at 472-6587 for application information.