They began their Leadership Columbus class about nine months ago, and on Tuesday the latest crop of participants graduated with flying colors and a final mission — go whitewater rafting on the Chattahoochee River.
The 33rd class of Leadership Columbus also was honored at a ceremony at the Cunningham Center for Leadership Development, which is on the campus of Columbus State University. There were 31 graduates from across the community.
Amy Bryan, executive vice president of leadership and community development with the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, said she already is looking for a few good men and women to take part in the next Leadership Columbus class. It starts in August, with July 17 the deadline for submitting applications.
The program, launched in 1980, is designed to give participants a better understanding of the city and region, including the area’s “complexities ... opportunities, challenges and problems.” At its core, it aims to help them bond with each other and become better leaders in the future, ultimately making a positive and productive impact on the community.
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The current graduating class took part in a number of community activities, while accumulating a combined 200 hours of volunteer service through various projects, the chamber said, including working with Easter Seals, the Literacy Alliance, United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley and Mercy Med.
Those considering the next class should be aware that it will require about 140 hours of their time over the nine-month period, the chamber said. That includes one-day sessions each month, riding one night with an officer, hopping aboard a METRA bus for a two-hour ride through the city, tackling a project assignment and attending an art event (such as at the Springer Opera House or RiverCenter for the Performing Arts). They also have to attend meetings of the city council, the school board and the chamber board.
Approval by top executives and supervisors at their respective companies or organizations is mandatory, according to the chamber. For more information about the program, contact Bryan at 706-596-7000 or at email@example.com.
Here are the 2014-2015 Leadership Columbus graduates:
Drew Barwick — River Mill Data Management
Dykes Blackmon — Coldwell Banker Kennon, Parker, Duncan & Davis
Anne Brown — Columbus State University
Lori Cavis — TSYS
Daria Cruzen — Robinson, Grimes & Company
Nicole de Vries — Georgia Institute of Technology
Barry Debrow — Federal Defender Organization
Monica Echols — Govenors Office of Transition Support & Reentry
Alan Harkness — Chattahoochee Valley Libraries
David Heisler — National Payment Solutions
Danthea Hill — Columbus Water Works
Scott Hill — Columbus Regional Health
Dawson Ingram — Georgia Power Company
Kel Jackson — Pratt & Whitney
Gwen Johnson — St. Francis Hospital
Jennifer Jones — Dougherty McKinnon & Luby
Tricia Llewellyn — Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers
Ross McDuffie — Ledger-Enquirer
Gus McMurray — Carmike Cinemas
Bill Murphy — Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce
Dey Palmer — SouthCrest Bank
Daniel Parker — Hatcher, Stubbs, Land, Hollis, Rothschild
Tracie Price — Georgia Military College in Columbus
Lee Starling — Columbus Regional Research Institute
Tim Steed — TSYS
Ron Tate — ERA Elite Ventures Realty
Steven Tondee — Columbus Community Bank
Christina Varghese — Aflac
Susan White — Georgia Power Company
Alicia Wood — Hecht Burdeshaw Architects
Teresa Wright — TSYS