Orleans looks to establish leadership program
ALBION – A new program is expected to start next year to help encourage and train a new crop of leaders in Orleans County.
The “Leadership Orleans” program would run for a year with members of the group meeting monthly on the third Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to learn more 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.
“A community needs leaders,” said Kelly Kiebala, the Orleans County Job Development director.
She is helping to get the new Leadership Orleans effort off the ground. She graduated from the Leadership Genesee program in 2010 when she worked in Genesee County with the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.
The Genesee program, led by Paggy Marone, is helping to get the Orleans program started. Kiebala said Orleans should have a part-time or full-time director.
She addressed the Orleans County Legislature last week. She said the program will focus on civic responsibility and community stewardship.
She said nearly all counties in Western New York have leadership programs. In Genesee County, more than 300 people have graduated from the program.
“It brings things out of you that you didn’t know you had,” said Gary Graber, a Darien town justice and leadership Genesee graduate. “It changed my life in a certain way.”
Graber said the program helped him to tap and hone skills. After Leadership Genesee he went on to serve as president of the New York Magistrates Association.
Participants in Leadership Orleans will likely pay a tuition, which 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.”
Leadership Orleans will begin a public push in July with applications for the first class available on Aug. 1.
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.