Leadership grads sow seeds
The most recent graduates of Leadership Harrison County hope to leave a lasting impression, in more ways than one.
For their class project, the group opted to plant wildflowers at the Corydon exit of Interstate 64. Two patches of ground, one each on the north and south sides of the interstate were prepared for the planting of seeds. In two to three years, the plots are expected to flourish each summer with native wildflowers.
To complete the project, class members needed to meet with a representative from the Indiana Dept. of Transportation and apply for a permit. They researched material costs and located equipment needed for spraying weeds and planting the seeds. Jackson-Jennings Co-op donated the water when the seeds were planted on May 19.
The class was able to reduce the initial budget of $2,250 to $1,505, which was funded by the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Completing the class project wasn’t the only task of the group. During the eight-month program, the participants learned about leadership styles, conflict resolution, consensus building, servant leadership and Harrison County history, among other things.
They also voted to give the annual Servant Leader Award to a Corydon resident. The presentation was made May 24 when those who successfully completed the program gathered for a graduation ceremony at St. John’s Lutheran School south of Lanesville. The meal was prepared by the St. John’s Martha Society.
Paul Brown, a member of this year’s class, reflected on the program.
‘Everyone was willing to listen to everyone’s opinions,’ he said. ‘Maybe there is another opinion we need to listen to besides our own.’
He added that getting 20-some people to agree on a class project was a challenge.
As someone who is not originally from Harrison County, Brown said he went to places in the county that he had never heard about during the scavenger hunt event of the program.
The scavenger hunt includes sights from all points in the county.
Asked what he will take with him from participating in the Leadership program, Brown said, ‘To go back to our places in the community and make it better.’
That is partly how Repair Affair of Harrison County got started. Steve Shetter, who received the Servant Leader Award from the class, is a 1997-98 graduate of the Leadership program. He helped model the Floyd County Repair Affair here and has volunteered countless hours since to help people in Harrison County remain in their homes by completing repairs and renovations to make the homes livable. Repair Affair of Harrison County, which takes place in October, has worked on more than 200 homes.
After accepting the award from Leadership class member Bette Harper, Shetter said, ‘I have seen this award presented to some amazing people. I am humbled and honored to be one of them.’
Past recipients, in order since 1996, are the late Blaine H. Wiseman, Darrell R. Voelker, Pamela Bennett Martin, J. Gordon Pendleton, Frederick P. Griffin, Shirley Hawkins Raymond, Catherine Turcotte, Brent D. Lewis, Karolyn Mangeot, Maxine Brown and Larry Bennett.
Another award, the Friend of Leadership, was presented to Wendy Swisher, owner of Cornerstone Management Consulting Group and an employee of Kindred Health Care. Swisher was unable to attend the graduation, so her award was presented May 16, at the last regular class for this year’s program.
Swisher facilitates the LHC opening overnight retreat, held at O’Bannon Woods State Park in October and the final session. This year, she also was the presenter for the March class.
In the past, Swisher has made contributions to many of the projects selected by the Leadership class.
The Friend of Leadership award is decided by the LHC board of directors. This was only the third time it has been presented. Past recipients are Carl Duley and James L. Shireman.
Jeff Krohn, president of the Leadership board of directors, recognized Sean Hawkins, Matt Love and Mickie Vallandingham as board members whose terms expired in December.
Completing this year’s class besides Brown and Harper were Rick A. Barstow, Jennifer D. Best, Derrick Cahill, Bonnie T. Fallin, Michael Howard, Jacque Martin, Mark F. McComas, Pamela McCutcheon, Laura Miller, Cathi Newport, Angela Orwick, Jason A. Pendleton, Linda Poole, Kevin Reed, Vickie J. Scott, Jan Sherrell, Robin Steele, Brett A. Stillwell and Karen Strode.
Applications for the 12th Leadership class will be accepted beginning in about a month.
To learn more about Leadership Harrison County or to obtain an application for the coming year’s class, visit online at www.leadership-harrisoncounty.org.