LEAD 2.019 recognizes graduates, unveils project

Pictured (top row L-R): Jarrod Burns, Logan Ricke, Daniel Fayette, Christie McLaughlin, Lora Williams, Vanessa Martin, Andrew Oaldon, Cole Zook (bottom row L-R): Angel Hocker, Vietta McKenzie, Whitney Ramer, Weedie Smith, Mandy Jo Lohrum, Terrah Nunley

Greensburg, In. — In a room filled with varying perspectives, backgrounds, experiences, and occupations, this years LEAD 2.019 class stepped up to make the first public presentations of their chosen community projects. The LEAD acronym represented the opportunity to Learn, Experience, Apply and Demonstrate and the presentations fulfilled their last class requirement for graduation.

Thats just what the group did on Tuesday during lunch at the Decatur County REMC. The leadership program was adopted by the Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce and facilitated by Effective Advancement Strategies of Greensburg.

According to Chamber Executive Director Jeff Emsweller, LEAD 2.019 was described as the next version of the former Leadership Decatur County program, which hadnt existed for over a decade. The need for the program was highlighted in the Community Vision and judging by the response, all in attendance were impressed with the efforts of the class.

The class of 14 started their journey in October 2018, meeting 11 times for three and one-half hours over that span and culminating with Tuesdays required presentations.

The class started with learning more about themselves and how their friends and colleagues viewed their leadership style,” Effective Advancement Strategies CEO David Fry said. Fry served as the facilitator and trainer of the program. Over the next few months they had several unique opportunities to learn more about the public, private and nonprofit sectors in the community.

Several speakers shared their perspectives on leadership and during one session the class visited Honda Manufacturing of Indiana to tour the facility and gain insight into their leadership culture, Fry said.

In the second phase, the class sought out community projects, issuing calls for proposals and building on the multiple assessments they had access to review. Those included City and County comprehensive plans, a Community Health Needs Assessment, the vision plan and others. In the end, three projects were chosen, and all aligned with the community vision.

Those projects and the team members that chose to help advance them were: Raising ARTisTREE District Awareness Angel Hocker, Terrah (Annie) Nunley, Vanessa Martin, & Andrew Oaldon. The group will work with the Arts & Cultural Council of Decatur County to raise awareness of, and sense of place, in the ARTisTREE District, which is less than a year old.

Creating a Friends of the Parks group included Mandy Lohrum, Vietta McKenzie, Logan Ricke and Weedie Smith. Their group proposed a friends group that would help raise funds to sustain and improve the parks in Decatur County.

Facilitating a new Co-working space were Dr. Jarrod Burns, Daniel Fayette, Christie McLaughlin, Whitney Ramer, Lora Williams and Cole Zook. This group is working with business owner, Steve Freeman, in setting up a new co-working space in Greensburg, where a number of services would be available for entrepreneurs and established businesses.

During the luncheon, the groups walked the audience of community leaders, colleagues, family and supervisors through their projects and rationale for each. Some chose to actively engage the audience in their cause and others prompted additional questions. All were able to demonstrate the actions needed to bring the project to fruition.

The session ended with a presentation of Certificates of Achievement to the class members. Emsweller thanked the community-minded sponsors who made the program possible including the LEAD 2.019 sponsor, Decatur County Memorial Hospital and the Strategic Sponsors, Decatur County Community Foundation, Economic Development Corporation of Greensburg-Decatur County and the Decatur County Commissioners. Anyone wanting to learn more about the projects or to volunteer to assist may contact one of the team members or the Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce.

Provided by Jeff Emsweller, Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce