Friday, July 12, 2013

Emerging leaders urged to join Leadership Charlevoix County

Business professionals looking to enhance their leadership skills are encouraged to apply for the Leadership Charlevoix County program, now entering its third year. Led by community leaders, the nine-month program will introduce participants to the various sectors of the county, the inner workings and needs of the region.
Applications are available online at and are due by 5 p.m. Monday, July 22. Applications can also be picked up at the Boyne City, Charlevoix, East Jordan and Beaver Island Chambers of Commerce or by calling 231.536.2440. A video about the leadership program is available at the website, too.
“Leadership Charlevoix County is designed to cultivate new, emerging and potential leaders from our area,” said program coordinator Mishelle Shooks. “We also hope participants will identify and address pertinent community needs while strengthening their own individual leadership abilities.”
The program comes highly recommended by class participants. “I would recommend Leadership Charlevoix County to anyone - whether they are someone aspiring to become a leader or even someone who is already a leader - as it teaches you all aspects of what leadership really is,” said recent graduate Jamie Caroffino from Michigan Community Dental Clinics.
Last year’s class member Richard Christner with Charlevoix State Bank added, “Not only does Leadership Charlevoix County help participants fine-tune existing skills and develop additional leadership skills but also provides an opportunity to utilize those skills to enrich the community - a rewarding experience.”
City of East Jordan employee Cheltzi Wilson characterized the program as “inspiring and eye opening.”
“Every session I attended I couldn't help but wonder how I could get involved or think of things that I wanted to change or improve in my life. This program gave me the confidence to pursue things I may not have normally done on my own,” Wilson said, adding, “I happily recommend this program to anyone I can in hopes of them receiving the same experience that I had.”
The nine-month course, running from September 2013 through May 2014, will take participants throughout the county and includes sessions in:
  • Connecting with government
  • Health and human services
  • Economic development
  • Education today
  • Building your toolbox skills of communication, creativity, business ethics and media relations
  • Arts, culture and philanthropy
  • Environmental and natural resources
  • Where do we go from here? Putting newly learned skills to use

In addition to the monthly sessions, the course will kick off with an orientation and then an overnight retreat to Beaver Island. Participants will be matched with a mentor who will help open doors to personal and professional growth. The program culminates with a graduation ceremony in May 2014.
Seats are limited and interested individuals are encouraged to complete an application soon. Tuition is $750 for the full course and includes materials, meals and other program costs. If the applicant’s employer/organization is not a member of the Boyne City, Charlevoix, East Jordan or Beaver Island Chambers of Commerce, the cost is $850. A limited number of scholarships are available.
Leadership Charlevoix County is sponsored by the Boyne City, Charlevoix and East Jordan Chambers of Commerce with support from the Beaver Island Chamber. The program is made possible by a generous grant from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation.
Leadership Charlevoix County is coordinated by Steering Committee members Jim Baumann, Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce; Erin Bemis, Charlevoix Area Chamber of Commerce; Mary Faculak, East Jordan Area Chamber of Commerce; Tom Cannon, City of East Jordan; Susan Conklin, Boyne District Library; Lyn Jenks, Charlevoix Area Hospital; Dianne Litzenburger, Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District; Lori Meeder, Northern Initiatives; Val Meyerson, Charlevoix Public Library; Ann Partridge, Beaver Island Community Center; and Maureen Radke, Charlevoix County Community Foundation; Kim Swidorski, Harbor Industries.
> For more information contact Shooks at or 231.536.2440.  Questions can also be directed to the Boyne City, East Jordan, Charlevoix and Beaver Island Chambers of Commerce.

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