09/09/11 The members of the Leadership Marshall County Class XVII met as a group for the first time on Wednesday night to begin what is a nine-month program. The design behind LMC is to educate future leaders for the entire county. The sixteen members of the class will be exposed to what the county has to offer in agriculture, boardsmanship, health and human services, government, criminal justice, education, and economic development.
Following an orientation gathering, class members toured both the Heartland Artists gallery and theMarshallCountyMuseum.
Introducing the program to the newest class were this year’s co-chairs Valerie Hines and Michael Dunn.
Dunn said, “This program was designed to identify, motivate and develop community leaders through education and skills development, involving sessions taught by currently established leaders inMarshallCounty.” Dunn, who came to the community six years ago fromLakeStationto serve as the principal of Menominee Elementary inPlymouth, said joining LMC was one of the first things he did and that it gave him a widened perspective of the area.
Hines said she has been in the community since 1998, coming fromLouisiana. She said, “As you work here, you want to see the county thrive.” Hines shared that she moved to the area to accept a position with 1st Source Bank. She said, “I was surprised with allMarshallCounty has to offer.”
LMC board member Jeremy Riffle gave the class their first homework assignment. Prior to the September 21meeting, they were challenged to read the book by Tom Rath and Barry Conchive entitled “Strengths Based Leadership” and submit an individualized assessment that is taken and scored online. Riffle said, “You need to know your own strengths.”
Participation in LMC is a true commitment. Those enrolled must attend at least 80 percent of the classes offered from now until May of 2012 and collaborate with other classmates on a service project.
Jayne Gibson, vice-president of operations for theMarshallCounty Community Foundation and United Way Assistant Director/ Campaign Manager continues to be a vital link to the organizational aspects of LMC.
The seed idea for LMC came from then board members of either theUnited Wayor The Community Foundation of Marshall County. Dr. Bill Shustowski, Everett Colvin and Dave Gibson first began entertaining the best way to promote leadership in 1993 and plans were solidified in 1994 as they helped to form a joint committee.
Class XVII participants include: Elizabeth Adams , Tony Booker, Phillip Hamand, Knox; Heather Barron and Ken Olson, Winona Lake; Laurie Birchmeier, Lydia Beers, Gwen Calvert, LuAnn Evans, Josh VanHouten, David Walters, and Linda Yoder, Plymouth; Sara Hill, Tippecanoe; Ralph Mason, Bourbon; Ann Norton, Culver; and Deb Shively, Etna Green. Although not all of the class members reside inMarshallCounty, they all have ties to the area through their employment or volunteer opportunities.
Since 1995, LMC has trained over 260 leaders forMarshallCounty.
Carol Anders Correspondent