Shenandoah chamber launches leadership program

WOODSTOCK — The Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce is looking for 20 people who want to develop skills they can use to help address community needs.

Sharon Baroncelli, chamber executive director, said the chamber is launching a nine-month community leadership program called Leadership Shenandoah County. The program has been in the planning stages since a chamber retreat in January and is now accepting applications.

“The directors will sit down and look through all the applications,” Baroncelli said. “We didn’t want to make the application too hard, but it is an extensive application as far as getting to know the person, their goals and why they want to be part of the program.”

Once all applications are sent in, she said the Board of Directors will then select 20 candidates to be part of the nine-month program in which participants will meet once a month. Topics during those meeting would include agriculture, tourism, local government, education, public safety and more. They will also have work to do outside of the sessions.

“It’s a mixture of classroom education, hearing from speakers involved with these areas, as well as hands-on in the field, visiting the sites,” Baroncelli said. “Throughout this whole process, they’re also going to hear about the gaps that we have. They’ll have a class project where they’ll all decide on an issue they want to solve or bring resources to an issue.

“They’ll have homework involved, they’ll have to attend a Board of Supervisors meeting, they may be attending a General Assembly session, go to School Board meetings, do some sort of volunteer work at one of our nonprofits so they find their niche and where they could help and lead the county,” she said.

Tuition for the program is $250 per person. Limited scholarships are available, according to a news release.

More Information

• Downloadl application at http://tinyurl.com/y9u5bybs on the chamber’s website, shenandoahcountychamber.com.

• Applications due July 14.

• Participants will be announced Aug. 15.

• First session is in September. Graduation is in April 2018.

• Information: Call chamber at 540-459-2542 or email director@shenandoahcountychamber.com.