4th class of Leadership Orleans completes program that explores many sectors of community

Posted 21 December 2021 at 9:09 pm

Graduation celebrated at new conference center at Bent’s Opera House

Photos courtesy of Kelly Kiebala: The new graduates of Leadership Orleans are shown together after completing the program that explored many aspects of life in Orleans County.

Press Release, Leadership Orleans

MEDINA – The Leadership Orleans Class of 2021 celebrated its graduation at Bent’s Opera House in Medina on Dec. 9.

The group of 24 is the fourth class to complete the program. They were recognized for completion of the program, which usually runs January through December, but in 2021 was condensed to run from April through December out of an abundance of caution due to the pandemic in the early part of the year.

In addition to the opening and closing retreats, the class participated in 10 “Day Sessions” covering the following themes, with learning outcomes identified for each: Legislative Affairs, Leadership Challenge, Community Health, Tourism & Recreation, Business & Culture, Economic & Workforce Development, Agribusiness, Volunteerism, Education, and Simulated Society.

Catherine Holland and Benjamin McPherson were picked by the class to be speakers for the ceremony.

The Class of 2021 includes the following leaders in our community:

  • Rebecca Alexander – Owner, Dubby’s Wood Fired
  • Richard Allis Jr. – Pastor, Light of Victory Church
  • Mourad Attar – Quality Engineer, Baxter Healthcare
  • Donna Ciccarelli – Inventory Spare Parts Planner, Baxter Healthcare
  • Samantha Covis – Assistant Director, Lee-Whedon Memorial Library
  • Joanna Follman – Payroll Admin./Bookkeeper, Millennium Roads, LLC
  • Nicole Goyette – Assistant Principal, Orleans CTE Center, Orleans/Niagara BOCES
  • Sherry Haylett – Director of Finance, Arc GLOW
  • Catherine Holland – Retail Manager, Leonard Oakes Estate Winery
  • Renee Hungerford – Executive Director, Community Action of Orleans & Genesee
  • Katherine Jurs – Herd Care Manager, Orleans Poverty Hill Farms
  • Denise Klos – Manager of Operations, RTS Orleans
  • Ayesha Kreutz – Client Advocate/Just Friends Coord., Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern
  • Michael Magnuson – Reference Librarian, Hoag Library
  • Benjamin McPherson – Financial Advisor, Edward Jones Investments
  • Gabe Myers – Customer Service Manager, LynOaken Farms
  • Stacy Newell – Operations Manager, Claims Recovery Financial Services
  • Justin Niederhofer – Deputy Director, Orleans County Emergency Management
  • Melinda Pitcher – Manufacturing Supervisor, Baxter Healthcare
  • Christine Ranallo – Manager, Cobblestone Country Fed. Credit Union
  • Robert Riemer – Chief Deputy, Orleans County Sheriff’s Office
  • Elissa Smith – Elementary Principal, Lyndonville Central School District
  • Sean Snook – Chief Operating Officer, Claims Recovery Financial Services
  • Scott Wilson – Superintendent, Orleans County Jail

In addition to recognizing all graduates, during the ceremony several awards were presented. Each year, the current class votes on two awards: First Impression – the site they visited that made the most significant impression on the group, and Presenter of the Year – the individual who was part of one of the day sessions and whose presentation was the most impactful.

Roger Hungerford, developer of the renovated Bent’s Opera House, addresses the class after being recognized as a distinguished leader in the community.

This year’s award winners were Orleans/Niagara BOCES Medina CTE Campus Center for “First Impression” and Gabrielle Barone with the Orleans Economic Development Agency for “Presenter of the Year.”

The LO class also votes on a speaker(s) to offer Class Comments during Graduation each year, and this year’s speakers were Catherine Holland and Benjamin McPherson. Class members Mourad Attar and Samantha Covis were acknowledged for their top performances in 2021 class challenges, as well.

Two individuals were recognized with special awards for their engagement and outstanding leadership in the community and unique roles in supporting the continued success of the Leadership Orleans program: Ken DeRoller as Alumnus of the Year and Roger Hungerford as Distinguished Leader. Remarks on behalf of Orleans County were offered by John C. Welch, Jr., Orleans County Administrative Officer.

Leadership Orleans Program Director, Skip Helfrich, along with Steering Committee Chair Kelly Kiebala and Committee Member Charlie Nesbitt presented the awards and congratulated 2021 LO Class members on their graduation.

Additional Steering Committee members include Delano Alvarez, Baxter Healthcare; Ellen Eaton, Takeform; Nadine Hanlon, Orleans County Clerk; Jerod Thurber, CommonaliTEES, LLC; Kathleen “Kitty” Maerten, Retired Superintendent, Alexander CSD; Laura Olinger, Bentley Bros.; Paul Pettit, Genesee & Orleans Counties Public Health Director; Barbara Shine, retired, GCC; Lisa Tombari, Takeform; and Patrick Weissend, Tompkins Bank of Castile.

The Leadership Orleans 2021 program was made possible with financial support from the County of Orleans and Talis Equity, as well as the Albion Rotary Club, APEX Clean Energy, Baxter Healthcare, Bentley Brothers, Brigden Memorials, Brighton Securities, Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes, Claims Recovery Financial Services, Farm Credit East ACA, Friends of Steve Hawley, Holley Rotary Club, Kast Farms, Keeler Construction/Barre Stone Products, Lyndonville Area Foundation, Medina Area Partnership, Medina Sandstone Trust, Orleans County EDA, Takeform Architectural Graphics, Watson Enterprises and Western New York Energy. Special thanks to Austin Carpenter of Concepts & Creations for the awards and Lynne Menz of Lynne Menz Designs for creative design.

The 2022 Leadership Orleans program is excited to kick off in January with a full complement of 26 individuals.

For more information or if you are interested in participating in the program, visit www.leadershiporleans.org or contact Skip Helfrich at 585-589-5605, skip@leadershiporleans.org.

The graduation ceremony was held in the conference center on the third floor of the Bent’s Opera House.