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Leadership Orleans celebrates graduation of first class

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 December 2018 at 3:24 pm

Provided photos

LYNDONVILLE – Leadership Orleans on Friday graduated the first class of the program with a celebration at the White Birch Golf Course in Lyndonville. Pictured in front, from left, include: Kelly Kiebala, chairwoman of the steering committee; Kaitlyn Delamarter, executive director of United Way of Orleans County; Lisa Tombari, executive assistant for Talis Equity: Kathy Hodgins, director of treatment services for GCASA; Nadine Hanlon, clerk of Orleans County Legislature; and Jackie Gilbert, owner/vice president of Darrell’s Place.

Second and back row, from left: James DeFilipps, deputy for Orleans County Sheriff’s Office; Doug Farley, director of Cobblestone Society & Museum; Patrick Weissend, vice president and branch manager of Tompkins Bank of Castile; Nick Nesbitt, owner/manager for Nesbitt Fruit Farms & Nesbitt Bros. LLC; Steve Hicks, financial advisor with Brighton Securities; RJ Linder, credit representative for Farm Credit East; Brett Kast, orchard manager for Kast Farms; Robert Batt, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County; Eddie Moss, director of computer services for Orleans County; Ed Fancher, executive director of Community Action of Orleans & Genesee; Josh Mitchell, funeral director with Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes; Mike Ryan, manager of operations for RTS Orleans; Tim Hollenbaugh, service manager/sales for Bentley Brothers, Inc.; Eric Watson, president of Watson Enterprises; Jessica Root-Olinger, manager for Dale S. Root Trucking LLC; Heidi Truschel, community relations manager for the Arc of Genesee Orleans; and Skip Helfrich, Leadership Orleans director.

Eddie Moss, director of computer services for Orleans County, speaks on behalf of the class and thanked supporters of the program.

The debut class comes from a cross section of the community, including law enforcement, government department heads, farm owners, agency directors and other business leaders. The program picked residents who have demonstrated leadership abilities, interest in community affairs, and a commitment to Orleans County’s future.

Each month the group learned about a different sector of the community, including government, arts and culture, volunteerism and non-profit organizations, community health, tourism and recreation, agribusiness, economic & workforce development, and education.

The class met Thursday for a retreat to recap the year. This brainstorming session includes Marlee Diehl, front left, and Nadine Hanlon, and Nick Nesbitt, back left, and RJ Linder.

Charlie Nesbitt, left, and Skip Helfrich, Leadership Orleans director, welcome people to the graduation program. They acknowledged sponsors and supporters of the program.

Nesbitt also received a special recognition for helping with recruitment and fundraising for the first class. Peggy Marone, director of Leadership Genesee, also received a special recognition award for helping to develop the curriculum and build the organizational structure for the program in Orleans County.

The second class of 25 participants will start next month.

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