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Leadership Tuscarawas is accepting applications for the next course term

Veronica Spidell is the executive director of Leadership Tuscarawas, an organization that aims to develop passionate visionary leaders to strengthen the community.

Scott Daniels

Leadership Tuscarawas, the well-regarded local training program to develop community leaders, is accepting applications for the 2017-18 course term. Classes for the 10-month program begin with a two-day retreat Aug. 10 and 11 and continue through May. The Leadership Tuscarawas program has been training community leaders since its inception in 2002 with the first graduating class in 2003.

Veronica Spidell, executive director, said participants in Leadership Tuscarawas may find themselves anywhere in the county, learning from some of the most successful people in a variety of fields.

“The classes are held one day a month for a full eight-hour day,” Spidell said. “We focus on personal and professional growth and development while also shaping community awareness and helping create leaders. Our graduates help sustain the many nonprofit organizations in our area and become more valuable to their employers and the community in general.”

Spidell said while the students utilize meeting space at Kent State University at Tuscarawas and the Gene Tolloty Incubation Center, they spend plenty of time getting a first-hand feel for many businesses and nonprofits in the county.

“Many times,” she said, “we get focused on our own lives, on what is in front of us and the work we are doing and might not see or realize that there is so much going on all around us. We help to open their eyes to possibilities”

Classes have spent time touring the county corrections center. “They were able to see the facility and some of the people there and understand the impact of their experiences on their lives and those of their families a little better,” Spidell said. “They came away from it thinking about how they might get involved in the community in ways that can help reach out to at-risk young people.”

The 2017 class also got a close-up look at the importance of agriculture to the county economy. “They spent time at a large dairy farm and spoke with two smaller-scale farmers. They learned about food sustainability and food waste, GMO versus non-GMO farming, and more. In turn they might find something of interest that can lead them to help with the Tuscarawas Valley Farmers Market for example.”

Spidell said the classes and projects are different every year, depending on with what firms the class partners. “Our partners might present a challenge they’re facing to our participants, who in turn break up into smaller groups to do research and seek solutions. They learn how to work with others toward a common goal, the give and take of serving on boards, and how to present what they’ve found out, which are all critical skills. It’s the process that is important, not so much whether they’ve accomplished the goal, but rather what they have learned along the way.”

Spidell spoke of the Lunch with a Leader program, part of the Leadership Tuscarawas training. “We put nine business leaders together with two or three class participants each, and they get together for lunch to talk about their work, their business and thoughts on leadership. They talk about the kinds of work and dedication needed to get things done.”

Spidell said Leadership Tuscarawas is all about creating community members who are prepared to be effective leaders and supporters of important projects and causes for the benefit of all.

The cost for the class is $1,750 per person. Applications are due by April 30 with tuition due by June 15. Applications and full information are available by calling Spidell at 330-308-7444 or by emailing leadershiptusc@gmail.com.

Published: April 17, 2017
New Article ID: 2017704149991