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January 22, 2014 - Craig Howell
I've often said a community can not move forward without new ideas and new people to provide them. At its core, that's part of what the Weirton Chamber's Leadership Weirton program is all about. Leadership Weirton provides an opportunity for our residents to get an up close look at what goes on in our area with the hope they will be inspired to find ways to get involved in their community.
It is focused on participant-planned sessions in the areas of government; healthcare; education; history and culture; and business and economic development. In addition, participants are asked to attend a couple of government or civic meetings, volunteer a few hours with a local organization and plan and implement a group service project.
I'm a member of the 2008 graduating class of Leadership Weirton, and for several years have been a part of the chamber's Education Committee which organizes the program. Through it, I've met many individuals I may never have come across otherwise, forged business relationships and friendships and learned a great deal about them and myself.
This year's class and their sponsors are Logan Field, Dynamic Development; Carl A. Frankovitch, FACS Law Firm; Ashley Gleisberg, Holiday Inn; Aaron Hasak, Dynamic Development; Janine Jerrel, Doane Family Enterprise doing business as McDonalds; Melissa Kell, Hancock County Savings Bank; Michael Lytle, Allstate Insurance; Chris McBee, Rotary Club of Weirton Heights; Maggie McGinnis, The Weirton Daily Times/Herald-Star; Charles Nucci, Hancock County Sheltered Workshop; Sandra Parkins, Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau; MaryLou Pietranton, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort; Angela Shughart, Weirton Medical Center; and Penny Weatherson, Hancock County Savings Bank.
I applaud them all for taking advantage of the opportunities provided by this program and encourage them and past Leadership Weirton graduates to share their experiences with those they think might have an interest.
It was a bit of a struggle to recruit a class this year. In fact, up until the last few days it looked as if the program might not take place. That's difficult to see happen, and, fortunately, several people stepped up at the last minute to register and allow us to move forward.
Every experience in Leadership Weirton is going to be different. Like anything else, you never know what you might get out of it until you take the chance and participate. Hopefully we'll see more people interested in being a part of the 2015 class. Applications are accepted each fall and the program runs from January to June.
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