“We are excited about the program since moving to every other year,” said Bud Owens, committee chair.
He said it would provide emerging and existing community leaders with a greater awareness of community issues, needs, services and resources.
“The idea is to give individuals an up to date view of what is happening in the county and help them develop skills that include team building,” said Executive Director Tamaka Hudson. “It helps pull out people’s strengths instead of exposing their weaknesses.”
She said Lead Polk 2013 would bring a break from tradition by not only training leaders but also keeping them engaged.
During the past 20 years, about 400 people have completed the program. However, many of these individuals no longer reside in the county.
“We want to cultivate people that are in the community and plan to remain here,” she said. “Our goal is to get participants involved in community projects such as Polk Family Connection and Keep Polk Beautiful, both which originated in a leadership class.”
The 2013 group will include up to 25 people who have been identified by others as having a sincere commitment to making the community a better place in which to work and live.
Participants will also represent the diversity of the county in terms of occupation/profession, gender and race.
Applications are now accepted for the program. The first class will be selected by September 1, according to Owens.
Included will be five sessions, an overnight retreat and graduation.
Orientation is planned for Thursday, Dec. 6. The retreat is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25-26, 2012. Times and location will be announced later.
The first in a series of class sessions – Education – will be held be held on Feb. 13, 2013. Government, Arts, and Social Services is the topic of the second, which is scheduled on March 6.
This will be followed by Economic Development / Business and Industry on March 27.
Other sessions include Health on April 27 and Team Building/Ropes Course on May 1. Hal Floyd and Jeff Ellis usually direct this class.
A graduation ceremony is scheduled on Thursday, May 2 for participants completing the course.
For more information about the program, call the Chamber office at 770-684-8774.