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Orleans approves $33K to help start leadership program

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 July 2017 at 9:28 am

Goal: Build ‘civic capacity’ for local municipal boards, organizations

Courtesy of Lynne Menz: This is the logo for the new Leadership Orleans program.

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature approved spending $33,000 for the county’s contingency fund to help start the “Leadership Orleans” program, which will begin with classes in January for about 25 participants.

The program will be run through Community Action of Orleans & Genesee. The county approved the $33,000 to help with the startup costs for the new program.

Most other counties in Western New York have leadership programs. Genesee County, for example, has been running its program for at least 15 years through the Cornell Cooperative extension of Genesee County.

“It will build civic capacity in Orleans County,” said Chuck Nesbitt, the county’s chief administrative officer.

The local municipal boards and civic organizations all could use more people with a deeper understanding of the community, Nesbitt said.

The Leadership Orleans participants will all pay a tuition to be in the program, which has monthly day-long meetings. The monthly programs will give participants insight about the agencies and different sectors of the community, from local government, cultural organizations, volunteerism, community health, tourism and recreation, agribusiness, education and economic and workforce development.

Leadership Orleans will run for a year with members of the group meeting monthly on the third Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program will focus on civic responsibility and community stewardship, Kelly Kiebala, the Orleans County Job Development director, told county legislators during a presentation last month.

Kiebala graduated from the Genesee program in 2010. She is helping to run the Orleans effort.

The tuition in the program could range from $750 to $1,500, depending on the size of the class.

The program wants to draw from a cross section of the community, including business, labor, education, arts, religion, government, community-based, ethnic and minority groups.

Leadership Orleans is looking for people to share their expertise and engage in “courageous conversations.”

The program will be open to adults at least 18 years old. They should be open be flexible and adaptable, open to different roles, including a student, beginner, learner, organizer, director, boss, volunteer, teacher and “servant leader.”

The program will soon begin an outreach effort.

Besides Kiebala, the Leadership Orleans program was developed by the following committee members: Laura Bentley, co-owner of Bentley Brothers and graduate of LEAD NY; Diana Fox, assistant clinic coordinator for Orleans County Mental Health and graduate of Leadership Genesee in 2002; Gary Graber, Darien Town Justice, terminal manager for Teal’s Express and Leadership Genesee graduate in 2005; Chuck Hoover, sales and marketing for Batavia Turf/CY Farms and Leadership Genesee graduate in 2013; Kim Pritt, retired Albion resident who was part of Leadership Sanford, North Carolina; Thad Thompson, golf course superintendent for Terry Hills and LG grad in 2013; Patrick Weissend, vice president and branch manager for Bank of Castile and LG grad in 2002; and Peggy Marone, director of Leadership Genesee and LG grad in 2002.

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