Tuesday, November 25, 2014
sponsored by

Fifteen graduate from 2014 Chamber Leadership Academy

Send a link to a friend  Share

[November 25, 2014]  LINCOLN - On Friday morning, guests were invited to attend a special program and graduation ceremony for the Leadership Academy Class of 2014. The emcee for the morning was Kristi Powell.

The Academy is a program put together by the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce. It is a ten week program, aimed at helping to enhance the skills and knowledge of local business leaders and future leaders.

Class members

This year’s students and their employers were Sarah Helm, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital; Lisa Dever, Castle Manor; Stephanie Fulkerson, Deron Powell Insurance; Douglas Adams, Jake Clifford, Theresa Cline, Leah Kratzer and Paul Rebholz, Eaton Corporation; Jennifer Kirby, Heartland Community College; Bridgett Thomas, Lincoln College; Sarah Wallick, Logan County Tourism; Christopher Herzog and Kayla Wilson, State Bank of Lincoln; Larry Crawford, Open Arms Christian Fellowship; and Nicole Cox of the Chamber. Of the 15 graduates, all were in attendance with the exception of Jake Clifford.

Education about effective leadership and the Logan County community

The curriculum for the program included college level instruction offered by Dr. Don Green of Lincoln Christian University. He offered instruction on the topics of 'Leadership for All Situations,' 'Communications and Effective Meetings,' 'Strategic Planning,' and 'Change Management.'

In addition, classes were held under the heading of 'Connecting with the Community.' Special guest speakers were brought in for those sessions and they covered a wide variety of topics.

Local historian Paul Beaver offered a talk on the history of Lincoln and Logan County.

Students were also briefed on the economic profile of Logan County.

Andi Hake gave information about the merge of the Logan County Tourism Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and Main Street Lincoln.

Dave Irwin of the State Bank of Lincoln discussed farm management.

Discussions on city and county government were led by Teresa Moore representing the Logan County Clerk’s Office; Vicki Dugan, Logan County Treasurer; Marry Kelley, Logan County Circuit Clerk; and Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder.

Angela Stoltzenburg of The Healthy Communities Partnership and Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital addressed healthcare in Logan County; while David Alexander of Coldwell Banker Cornerstone talked about local housing.

Jim Youngquist of Lincoln Daily News offered instruction and discussion on working with the media and communications. Chris Quialan of Sprint and Mark DeKeersgieter of CIRBN discussed social media.

Todd Miasch and Jennifer Hammer of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce addressed civic leadership.

Under the heading of education, presentations were made by a wide variety of speakers. Jean Anderson of the Regional Office of Education addressed the class. Also presenting were Jennifer Feaman of Heartland Community College, Stephanie Umphrey of Lincoln Christian University, and Rick Samuels of Lincoln College.

Richard Sumrall of the Lincoln Public Library, and April Doolin representing the Land of Lincoln CEO program were also among the presenters under the education heading.

Keith Snyder addressed the topics of school boards and running for office.

Guest speakers representing the agricultural industry in Logan County included Steve Irwin for Irwin Dairy, and Keith Birnbaum of Remington Seeds.

In addition to classroom work, students also took industry tours to Heritage Packaging, Ardagh Glass, and Eaton Corporation.

Groups help three non-profit organizations

In addition to their classroom and field studies, the students were divided into three groups with each group required to do a class project that would assist one local non-profit organization in Logan County.

Each group was required to work directly with their organization, including spending six hours of volunteer work in the organization. They were to examine the organization and prepare an executive overview. They were also expected to create and develop a marketing plan complete with promotional materials. On Friday, each group was asked to give their presentation complete with samples of their work.

[to top of second column]

Logan County Food Pantry
Group one consisted of students Christopher Herzog, Bridgett Thomas, Lisa Dever, Leah Kratzer and Theresa Cline. The group chose to work with the Logan County Food Pantry. On Friday morning, they presented a brief program on what they learned about the food pantry and what they did to help further the success of that program in Logan County.

Each member of the group presented a few words on what they had observed and done for the Logan County Food Pantry. They had been surprised to learn that the need for food in Logan County has grown significantly in the last few years. In Logan County, the Food Insecurity Rate is close to the state average of just over 14 percent. According to the group approximately Logan County is at 13.4 percent. In 2012, the food pantry served just over 1,700 people. This year, that average has raised to become right at 1,900 people, with the figure still growing.

The group also learned that the Logan County Food Pantry is a ‘Free Choice” pantry in that those receiving goods can choose what they want. The group was also surprised to learn that to qualify for food, a family of four needs to have a gross income of less than $3,975 per month. They said they were surprised to find the figure was this high.

For their promotion/marketing project, the group created a new tri-fold pamphlet and a new logo.

Humane Society of Logan County
Group two worked with the Humane Society of Logan County. The team consisted of Kayla Wilson, Jennifer Kirby, Doug Adams, Jake Clifford and Sarah Wallick.

The group did SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis on the agency’s social media pages and website. Some of the advice they offered on the HSLC Facebook page was to incorporate more pictures. The group shared that on Facebook, readers are 13 times more likely to interact with a post that includes a photo.

In looking at the HSLC website, the team identified the good points of the website, and also pointed out areas that were hard to navigate and perhaps confusing for the viewer. They offered advice on improving the site.

The group also developed a new marketing plan that included stock press releases and promotional handouts. The handouts or posters included full-color photos of animals with snappy quotes such as “I’ve never understood why my human won’t leave the house without her leash. I think she’s afraid of getting lost. But it’s OK, I kind of like showing her around.”

Oasis Senior Center
The final group consisted of Larry Crawford, Sarah Helm, Nicole Cox, Stephanie Fulkerson and Paul Rebholz. Their choice of non-profit organization was the Oasis Senior Center

The group learned that while there are over 6,000 senior citizens in Logan County, only 1,000 are members of the Oasis. They talked about how the number of seniors in Logan County will continue to grow.

They learned that the Oasis does not currently have a website, but they wanted one developed. The team took on that project, and there is now a website in place the Oasis can launch whenever it is ready. The team also said they were committed to continuing their work with the Oasis to get the website online, if the organization wants their help.

In addition, the team designed some new pamphlets for the Oasis.

At the end of the presentation, certificates were handed out to each graduate by Lynn Laughlin and Dr. Don Green of Lincoln Christian University.

[Nila Smith]

< Top Stories index

Back to top