Leadership Marshall now enrolling leaders

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Leadership Marshall is accepting applications for this year’s class. The program offers opportunities for networking, learning, and leadership development. The Leadership Marshall class of 2016-17. Front row: Monica Hughes and Lucy Demastus. Second row: Benton Thompson, Jennifer Chandler, Melinda Sweeney, Jean Griffin, and Malinda White. Third row: Race Wilson, Scott Pearson, Michelle Stiteler, Lynn Kouba, Chasidy Arnold, Zach Cross, and Brad Medley.
Photo submitted

The deadline is fast approaching for a real opportunity to learn about Marshall County.

Applications for the 2017-18 Leadership Marshall class are due in by Sept. 4.

Leadership Marshall is a program designed to both build community and develop a new generation of leaders for Marshall County and its municipalities.

The program meets one day each month for eight months, with each day focusing on a particular aspect of the county.

Days are devoted to education, industry, and county and city government, among other topics, in order to provide the class with an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exist in the county.

State government day sees the class visit the Tennessee State Capitol where they have the opportunity to meet with the county’s elected officials as well as state officials and lobbyists. A tour of the Riverbend Maximum Security Prison rounds out the day in Nashville.

History day, which sees the class fan out across the county to learn about the county’s past, is always cited as one of the most popular sessions.

Each class also does an end-of-the-year project, giving something back to the community.

Past classes have landscaped the front of the Marshall County Memorial Library or built a helicopter landing pad for Air Evac at the Marshall County Emergency Medical Services building.

Last year’s class provided storm warning radios for all of the schools in Marshall County, enabling the county schools to be certified as storm ready.

Full disclosure, I had the privilege to be a member of last year’s Leadership Marshall class.

Having been a reporter at the Tribune for a year before the class started, I wasn’t sure that there would be much I could learn, but I was surprised by how much I did.

My class was a fairly typical cross-section of the county. They worked for banks and credit unions, county government, public utilities, and local businesses.

I met people I wouldn’t have otherwise and developed personal relationships with people I otherwise only would have interviewed for work.

I enjoyed the experience, would do it again without a second thought, and would recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about where they live.

The City of Lewisburg and Marshall County are both asked to consider graduates of the program preferentially when making committee appointments.

The Tennessee Department of Economic Development started county leadership programs as part of their Three Star Community initiatives.

Marshall County started offering the class, overseen by the Chamber of Commerce, in 1996. Lynda Potts has served as the coordinator of the program since its inception.

The success of the county classes has led to an expansion in scope of the program as well. Marshall County graduates were key to establishing the Gattis Leadership class, which offers the same type of opportunity for the entire south central Tennessee region, and a Junior Marshall Leadership for high school seniors is also offered.

Acceptance is by application and there is a $150 fee for the program, although in many cases businesses will cover the cost for employees.

For applications or information contact the Marshall County Chamber at 359-3863 or Lynda Potts at Lpotts@vallnet.com.