The Union County Leadership Institute solicits applications from all Chamber members and their associates. Nominations are received and Leadership Students are selected on their own merits through the application process conducted by the Leadership Institute Selection Committee. The class meets on the first Thursday of each month, beginning in October, to discuss critical issues and topics as well as leadership skill building through the program’s completion in May. Leadership Students are empowered to be an integral part of the class day planning process and, therefore, enabled to be visionary and active leaders in the community as they explore critical issues with knowledgeable speakers, effective facilitators and a variety of experimental activities. Leadership Students are also required to complete a community-directed research project aimed at affecting the quality of life in Union County. The yearly schedule is as follows:
August – Orientation Meeting
September – Team Building and Class Projects
October – Leadership & Class Research
November – Economic Development
December – Education
January – Health
February – Safety & Justice
March – Governmental Infrastructure
April – Fire Fighter 101
May – Presentation of Projects/Survivor’s Challenge & Banquet (At the Banquet, graduates will be inducted into the Leadership Institute Alumni Network
The Leadership Institute Selection Committee looks for several qualities in potential students. In order to be selected, applicants must: Possess high standards of personal quality and integrity – Demonstrate a sincere interest in community issues and a willingness to serve the community – Show a record of achievement or interest in community activities which indicate his/her leadership ability – Live or work in Union County and intend to remain so in the foreseeable future.
A diligent effort will be made to select class members who represent a cross section of Chamber businesses; it is this business, geographic and demographic diversity among class members that generates much of the meaningful personal interaction and personal learning in the leadership program.
To Inform – Class sessions will have specific goals and objectives for the information given and should provide broad exposure to issues, organizations, key players, local concerns, and local agendas relating to the day’s topic. Timeframe – Although flexible to some extent, the technical information portion of the day should be focused.
To Involve – Wherever possible, opportunities for interaction and involvement should be incorporated into each day with experimental activities. This allows the class participants to learn more effectively, respond to what is presented, apply the capacity to the learning experience, and begin to develop their own perspectives on the topic.
To Challenge – The message of leadership opportunities should be incorporated into each day so that class members can understand where and how they might seek out leadership roles in the areas of greatest interest to them.
To Convey the Expectation of Action – The class should clearly understand, as the year progresses, which the Leadership Institute’s expectation of them is that they will individually seek out opportunities to become actively involved – that they will do something with the information being provided to them. Each session shall incorporate some reinforcement of this message. To open the minds of each participant to the perspectives that surround each issue and, through experimental learning activities relating to the topic and the capacity for the day and through thoughtful consideration of these perspectives, enable participants to become more active leaders in the community.
Robert L. Whitman was born, reared and educated in LaRue, Ohio. Presently he is the Director of Chamber Programs and membership of the Union County Chamber of Commerce in Marysville, Ohio.
A retired school superintendent of 24 years, Dr. Whitman received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from the Ohio State University and his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.
Throughout his career, he has been actively involved in research and writing. Books he has written include Planning, Promoting and Passing School Tax Issues, A Resource Manual for School Levy Campaign Leaders and Jim Thorpe and the Oorang Indians: The NFL’s Most Colorful Franchise.
Realizing that there was an expressed need to document Jim Thorpe’s life through pictures, Dr. Whitman has spent the past year in selecting and researching the stories behind over 200 pictures.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. – Dr. Margaret Mead