By Leeann Akers - Editor
March 5, 2014 — The first Carter County Leadership Academy met for the second time Friday to plan community projects.
Several experienced community leaders spoke to the group about their own projects.
Starlene Harris has been the spark plug for the Grahn Community center while Shelly Steiner and Becky Walker have made the Carter County Drug Free Coalition into a vital anti-drug force across Carter County.
Dan and Mindy Wood-Click also spoke about the Grayson Art Gallery, which has become a center for local arts and music in the region.
“Look at the Grahn Community Center- what they do can motivate others to meet the people where they are,” said Academy facilitator Pat Collier. “It is unreal how much they do with so little. It’s exactly what we want to do, just on a larger scale. They keep focused on the positive and keep moving forward. The idea is, with just a few people, the positive spirit will spread to others. They prove that works.”
As a group, the leadership class agreed on the main components needed for an effective leader. Those traits included:
Ability to plan
Passion for the subject
Able to inspire others
Creating an agenda
Knowing long-term goals
Making sure all the necessary players are present
Create shared ownership
Friday's class was the kick off for group projects the class will complete. Although still in the preliminary stages of planning, some very clear plans are emerging.
Mark Strother is hoping to help create a strategic plan for the county while Cory Claxton plans to help organize and facilitate a county-wide Chamber of Commerce.
Whitney Morrow is focused on recreation and Lora Littleton-Bryant hopes to create a group for young professionals.
“The plans are so varied and encompass the entire county,” Collier said. “I expected it to be more goal specific and they went the other direction. They are thinking one area, one community and it is fantastic to see the unity and the end of the separation of our two cities. It will take all of us to make that happen, but it’s very exciting to see.”
Leeann Akers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 474-5101.