Current Leadership Albany Board Chairman Joshua Pitts thinks this year’s 30th Anniversary class of the venerable leadership development program will continue Leadership Albany’s proud tradition of building future leaders. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)
ALBANY — Venerable professional development organization Leadership Albany welcomed its latest class at an orientation and welcome reception recently at Resora at Cypress Pond as 25 potential members began the 10-month journey toward building their leadership skills and becoming alumni.
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Started 30 years ago by a hand full of civic-minded Albany leaders, Leadership Albany has become a kind of rite of passage for area business and community leaders thanks to the organization’s emphasis on Albany’s important resources and some of the challenges facing the community as a whole.
According to Leadership Albany director Mary Ligon, the program uses team building, visits to local businesses, institutions and varies community sites around Albany to help class members forge important relationships while honing their leadership skills.
As in past years, this year’s 2014-2015 class features 25 of Albany’s brightest representing a variety of different businesses and organizations.
“We’re really excited about this year’s class of leaders who have been accepted into the program,” said current Leadership Albany board chairman Josh Pitts. “They’re a diverse group coming from many different stakeholders in our community. For the 30th year, we will have a lot of programming that will echo the best parts of previous Leadership Albany classes including how to apply the leadership, communication, problem solving, group dynamics, conflict resolution and other skills learned for use in the workplace and community.”
This year’s 3oth anniversary class includes Sherrell Alexander of Girls Inc. of Albany, Jackie Battle from the Dougherty County Police Department, Britt Bazemore of Kingmark Financial Advisers, Michelle Blalock of Marine Corps Systems Command, Susan Brooks from Albany Area Primary Health Care, Benita Childs from the Albany Police Department, Beverly Edmond of Albany State University, Mandy Flynn from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Greg Frich from Raytheon, and Babs Hall of SOWEGA Council on Aging.
The class also included Stephen Harrell from Draffin and Tucker LLP, CaMia Hopson from Albany Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Mary Martinez from LilyPad, Tammy McCrary of CTSI, Christopher Misamore of SunTrust, Roger Mishoe from Marine Corps Logistics Command, Jeremiah Pitts of Darton State College, J.D. Sumner from the Albany Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Wanda Swanier from Marine Corps Logistics Command, Christy Tinsley from Mauldin and Jenkins, Susan Trueblood from the Albany Advocacy Resource Center, Carroll Weaver from Marine Corps Logistics Command, Danita Wiggins from the Albany Housing Authority, Bradley Winn from Procter and Gamble, and Eddie Zedaker from TTL.
Class participants are asked to spend one Thursday a month for the next 10 months learning about Albany, its issues and each other. The groups will also have a two-day opening retreat, a two-day midyear retreat and a final group project to complete before graduating in May of 2015.