The Daily News | Leadership Genesee: Growing our community one leader at a time

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BATAVIA — It’s fall and that means it’s recruitment time for Leadership Genesee.

As the Class of 2017 is in the homestretch and has two more day program sessions this year, the class of 2018 is just beginning to form.

Are you interested? Curious? The focus of this month’s column is, “Why Leadership Genesee?”

Since 2001, Leadership Genesee has focused on building leadership skills while exposing participants to the necessary knowledge, experiences and people that make a community work.

LG’s year-long experiential curriculum includes community experts and tours/retreats from more than 100 organizations. Stimulating activities and rich conversations are designed to encourage each person to process and apply new insights from the experience.

Topics covered in the course of the program year include servant leadership, economic development, arts and culture, diversity, inclusion and respect, and much more. Becoming part of Leadership Genesee means you will join a growing number of well-prepared stewards for our community.

Participants come to Leadership Genesee from a wide array of professions, ages, backgrounds and experiences. They represent a cross-section of Genesee County’s public and private sectors including business, education, arts, religion, government, community groups, ethnic and minority groups who desire to be involved in and accept responsibility for shared concerns.

Leadership Genesee participants learn together as peers.

“As an LG alumnus, I’m not only more involved now, but I’m also more confident and comfortable within my community thanks to Leadership Genesee,” said Lisa Ormsbee, VP of Administration of Applied Business Systems and a member of the Class of 2012.

Jamie Mott, Regional Manager of the Rochester Genesee Regional Transit Authority went through the program in 2014.

Mott said while living in the area since 1996, jobs in Buffalo and Rochester gave him little opportunity to become involved in Genesee County. That changed with Leadership Genesee.

“With LG, I’ve learned that this community’s strength depends on its leadership and LG provides the path to link the community’s leadership together,” Mott said.

Each year, through a competitive application and interview process, Leadership Genesee selects 30 individuals to bring diverse perspectives together and prepare leaders with capacities to change their world.

Anyone who works or lives in Genesee County can be nominated or apply for consideration. Participants have included for-profit business professionals, community volunteers, non-profit leaders and staff members.

There has been participation from all levels of the public sector including education, government and criminal justice, elected and appointed officials.

Candidates must have the full support of the business or organization they represent in order to devote the time necessary to be an active, contributing member of the class with a commitment to lifelong learning and community service.

Kitty Maerten is an alumnus of Leadership Genesee’s class of 2003 and recently retired as Alexander Central School superintendent.

She said that taking the time out to nurture her leadership skills and network with other leaders was a valuable experience.

“As a leader it is very difficult to imagine how you can carve an entire day out of your schedule to participate in the program, however maintaining balance is important to being a good leader,” Maerten said.

The October 16 application deadline is quickly approaching.

Candidates must be 18 years of age or older, live or work in Genesee County, have a desire to serve out of a personal mission and be willing to commit the required time to discover ways to help generate a positive collective future.

From January through December, discovery sessions are scheduled for the fourth Wednesday of each month, except for November. Each session runs a full day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The two-day opening retreat and closing retreat are mandatory.

“Encouraging the Leader Within” was the theme of Leadership Genesee’s September session. Program Director Peggy Marone said it’s always an inspiring day.

“The group really opened up and had an opportunity to tell their stories about what has been an influence on them, their leadership development and how they want to serve the community.” she said.

Leadership Genesee’s Encouraging the Leader Within session was hosted at the Dibble Family Center with lunch sponsored by The Staley Group, LPL Financial.

If you think you or your company could improve by supporting a participant in LG and would like to learn more about the Leadership Genesee experience, contact Program Director Peggy Marone at (585) 343-3040, ext. 118. You may also contact Peggy via email at [email protected] or visit Leadership Genesee’s website at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/leadership-genesee.

Be sure to like their Facebook page at facebook.com/leadershipgenesee for the latest Leadership Genesee news.

Leadership Genesee is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County.

The Leadership Genesee column is published monthly in The Daily News and on www.thedailynewsonline.com. Up next for the LG Class of 2017, “We the People” on Oct. 25.

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