One of the key traits of a dynamic community is conscientious leadership committed to ongoing evaluation of gaps, successes and challenges for the betterment of all.
In 1993, the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce chose to build on that commitment and began developing a community leadership program. Based on the model of Leadership Kentucky, the program’s primary purpose was to identify present and potential leaders, educate them in the various sectors of the community in order to identify how they might best contribute to the overall vitality of Shelby County. In addition, the program would help participants develop the skills necessary to lead our community forward.
In 1995, the foundation had been laid for the inaugural class. Since then the program has been highly successful with over 475 graduates. Leadership Shelby alumni represent every vital sector in our community, including agriculture, industry, government, small business, the faith community, law, healthcare, social services, education, tourism, civic organizations, media, charitable endeavors, arts, culture and historical preservation.
Each year a new class of up to 25 individuals is selected from a competitive list of applicants representing a cross section of the community. Class members learn about our past and interact with current leaders and citizens from various sectors. They are challenged to determine where their talents and skills can help meet a need and then to act on that knowledge by plugging in for greater positive impact benefitting both our community and themselves.
The experiences shared during the Leadership Shelby program year leave a lasting impression:
“I thoroughly enjoyed Ag Day. One thing about farming, there is more than one way to do it. Farmers can learn a lot from each other and we should do everything we can to work together, sharing the good and the bad in an effort to keep up with the changes that will continue to shape Agriculture in Shelby County.”
“Industry Day was eye-opening for the group and allowed many of us to learn about a side of Shelby County that few know.”
“Government Day gave the class a unique opportunity to talk with most local department heads and a visit to the capitol to see the general assembly in action. Many dedicated public servants work to make our county a wonderful place to live and work.”
“I didn’t know what I didn’t know. LOL. Leadership Shelby has taught me so much about my home but most importantly with the new strengths-based leadership development added this year, I learned so much about myself and what I have to offer my community.”
This distinctive program begins in August with an overnight Opening Retreat and ends in May with a one-day Closing retreat. Class participants learn leadership skills through individualized strengths-based leadership development training taught by a professional leadership coach, interaction with community officials and private sector leaders, problem solving sessions and eight monthly educational tours consisting of Agriculture, Industry, Government, Education, Health & Social Services, Law & Justice, Media & Tourism and Arts & History.
Individuals, age 21 or older who live or work in Shelby County, interested in leadership development and community service are invited to apply. Prospective participants complete an application form, which includes biographical information, two short essays, two letters of recommendation, and a signed statement of approval for full participation from their employer. The application window closes on May 31st. Visit www.leadershipshelby.com to apply.
There is a $20 non-refundable application fee. Successful candidates pay a $550 tuition fee. Scholarship assistance is available.
There’s a leader inside of you. Join Leadership Shelby’s mission and discover how you can make a difference your way!
MaryAnn Gramig is leading the way as Executive Director for Leadership Shelby.
She may be contacted at [email protected]
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