Leadership Elk County completes fifth year

ST. MARYS - Leadership Elk County (LEC) officially started in September 2007 and after five classes, 70 participants have completed the program. This is a program that grew out of the Stackpole-Hall Foundation county-wide assessment that was done in 2006, identifying the lack of qualified leadership in rural areas as a major concern for many rural communities and the future growth of these communities.This program is divided into ten monthly components dealing with government, history of Elk County, communication skills, health and human services, the arts, education, economic development, tourism, the environment and state government. This program was developed with the assistance of a grant from the Stackpole Hall Foundation and in partnership with the Community Education Council of Elk and Cameron Counties, the Elk County/Ridgway Chamber of Commerce/Main Street program and the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce. An advisory board of 14 and committees of over thirty people work on planning the 10 monthly hands-on activities, which provided the participants an insight into the many aspects of life in Elk County.The closing program featured the presentation of the three class projects, including a fundraiser for CAPSEA, a project that highlighted the products "Made in Elk County" and "Consider the Alternatives." Natalie, Amy and Lou presented in a comical way the yearlong activities and where our participants will be in 10 years and what leadership is all about. Rick Brown, an LEC 3 graduate, showed how the participants have changed over the past 10 months.The participants of the 2011-12 Leadership class who recently graduated were: Natalie Aiello, PSU Cooperative Extension; Frank Beimel III, Precision Compacted Components; Jennifer Grotzinger, Elk Regional Health Center; Brandi Hanes, Keystone Elk Country Alliance, Kate Lomax, Community Education Council; John MacDonald, Northwest Savings Bank; Lou Radkowski, Accenture; Missy Shirey, Dickinson Center Inc.; Amy Wehler, Self Determination Housing Project of PA Inc.;  and David Whiteman, Contact Technologies.Registration for the 2012-2013 class is now going on. For further information, contact the CEC at 781-3437 or check out www.ed-council.org