December 12, 2012 Edition

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Diana Shelton (from right), one of the facilitators for Leadership Lawrence County Class VIII, visits with class member Rhonda Blevins and new Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Board member Dina Hufstedler following a joint meeting of the Leadership Class and the Chamber Board last Wednesday.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Leadership LawCo. class
learning about county

Gretchen Hunt

Over the years, several different Leadership Lawrence County classes have come together to learn more about Lawrence County and to develop ideas that could benefit the county.

The current class, Leadership Lawrence County Class VIII, has been meeting since September.

Topics for sessions include healthcare, county business, economic development, agriculture and tourism. Members also took an all-day tour of the county.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know more about the community that I have lived in for the past 20 years and seeing how different groups within our community work," class member Angela Flippo said. "Also, I have enjoyed getting to know the other members of Class VIII. Lawrence County is fortunate to have so many people who invest their time and energy into our community."

Other members of the class are: Lou Robinett, Danny Phillips, Coty Powers, Mary Jo Wolf, Rhonda Blevins, Yvonne Mock, Candis Bryant, Crista Sanders, Angela Flippo, L.J. Bryant, Kathy Bradley, Josh Dement and Gretchen Hunt.

Bryant, who is also the economic development director for the Chamber, said it is vital to equip new leaders with working knowledge of the county.

"You can't build a community on what you are going to do, you build it on what you get done," he said. "We need our next generation of leaders to not just dream, but act ... this program does that." Dr. Brett Cooper, who serves as a facilitator for the program along with Junior Briner, Diana Shelton and Anthony Pinkston, was in Leadership Lawrence County Class III in 1996-97.

"It has had a lasting impact," Cooper said of being a part of the program.

"Many of us from that class are still working together on a variety of projects that are making a difference," he said. "It equipped us with some of the basic tools we needed to serve the community.

"We learned fundamental information about local and state government, community needs and our own abilities. Maybe best of all, we developed lasting friendships with other folks from around the county." Current class members will also complete a service project together and are scheduled to graduate on Jan. 24 during the Chamber of Commerce quarterly meeting.

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