CIRCLEVILLE — The Pickaway Competitive Network Leadership Fund has announced its class of 2019-2020 Leadership Fellow participants. This is the seventh group to participate in the leadership training.
Jan Shannon, executive director for the Pickaway County Community Foundation, said the fund started in 2010 and as the cliché goes, some leaders are born and others are made.
“PCN’s Leadership Fund is dedicated to nurturing tomorrow’s leaders so they are comfortable in decision-making roles that ultimately help chart a course for Pickaway County’s future success,” Shannon said. “Participants that have gone through these classes learn responsibilities of leadership including the importance of knowing factual data about the county, boardsmanship skills, and philanthropy. They also learn about the economics of the townships, villages, cities and county.
“They then utilize this information and are showed the relevance of the information as it relates at the state and national level, which is illustrated by visits to Columbus and Washington, D.C. to have an opportunity to meet with legislative representatives,” Shannon continued.
While in Washington, D.C., participants will meet with national organizations including the National Retail Federation, United Parcel Service, and the American Farm Bureau, among others.
“The impact of civic leadership is longer lasting because these citizen-leaders are stewards of their community, they set and maintain a tone of ethics and values for a community and they cultivate new leadership in an effort to make sure that the cycle continues with the next generation,” Shannon said.
This year’s leadership participants are Chelsea Gearhart, a Universal Banker II for Kingston National Bank at the Circleville Branch; Layne Goode, Community Relations Manager, Governor’s Office of RecoveryOhio; Sarah Mercer, Business Development Representative, Northwest Title; Stacey Plybon, Real Estate Agent with e-Merge Real Estate Crossroads; Amanda Knotts, Brooks-Yates Administrator, Pickaway County Educational Service Center; David Fausnaugh, Director of the Pickaway County Library; Geralyn Yingling, Executive Assistant with Health Care Logistics; Tammy Smith, Early Head Start Manager with PICCA Head Start; Marie Corcoran Wilbanks, Director of Service and Support Administration, Medicaid and Compliance with Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities; Susan Metzger, Project Coordinator with the Pickaway County Community Foundation; and Bonnie Vallette who assisted with the coordination of the Older Adults Network in Pickaway County.
Gearhart said she applied to learn about how state and national government affects things locally and to use what she learns in the community.
“I am anticipating Leadership Fellows to expand on the skills I learned through Leadership Pickaway to help me become a community member who inspires individuals to dream more, learn more, and become more,” Gearhart stated. “I hope to become an active member on an appointed board in the community. In doing so, I will have a greater chance to use my knowledge learned from Leadership Fellow to create a better community for future generations of Pickaway County.”
Wilbanks said she hopes to use the information to take a more active role in shaping the community.
“It is my expectation that this program will broaden my ability to be involved in decision-making within the community and allow me opportunities to share the perspective of inclusion and disability supports,” Wilbanks stated. “I anticipate that I will use knowledge and skills obtained through the program to further involve myself in community-shaping discussions, and I hope the exclusivity of the status as a Fellow will provide me with ample opportunity to do this.”
Vallette believes this is an incredible opportunity for those she networks with because it could have a positive impact on the community and elders living in it.
“My primary objective is to better understand Pickaway County, its businesses, agencies, and organizations, and the leadership of each; the economy and tax structures; special development projects and nonprofit efforts; overall challenges, and opportunities, all to better identify where I might find a niche to support the wider community or address a specific challenge through my own work efforts,” Vallette commented. “Secondary to that is to gain a better understanding our Democratic process and the challenges and opportunities within that system; and to become better informed about the people, processes, and roles I might play in local, state, federal, and international concerns.”