Applications are being accepted through Nov. 15 for Chautauqua Leadership Network's Class of 2014. Those selected for the organization's new class will participate in an almost year-long educational program designed to help them become more effective leaders for their companies, their communities and Chautauqua County as a whole. They will join the almost 500 others who since 1993 have formed an ever-increasing network of community leaders throughout the county.
"I applied for the Class of 2004 based on the recommendation of a 'friend of a friend,' and it was the best decision I could have made, professionally and personally," said Donna Flinchbaugh of M & T Bank. "My initial desire was to build a network outside of my workplace, but I also learned so much about myself: how to work better alongside others, how to recognize those aspects of my personality and leadership style that were strong and make the best use of those qualities, and those aspects that were less prominent and empower others to fill those gaps."
William Evans III of Phillips Lytle LLP and a member of the Class of 2013 agrees.
Members of Chautauqua Leadership Network’s Class of 2013 gathered earlier this year at SUNY Fredonia’s College Lodge in Brocton for one of several workshops held as part of the organization’s educational program for community leaders.
"You learn so much about yourself and how to become more effective in your career," Evans said. "We're so fortunate to have such a well-developed program available in Chautauqua County. It's truly world- class."
For Class of 1995 member Susan McNamara, formerly of Chautauqua Works and currently a professor at SUNY Fredonia, CLN provided a "rare opportunity to have fun while learning."
"The training went beyond the classroom," said McNamara, noting that the tuition was a bargain for the quality and depth of training she received.
"We are living in an age when collaboration should trump competition," said Megan Sorenson of Chautauqua Institution, a member of the Class of 2013. "From our environment to our economy, resources are limited and it makes sense as a community to work together in smarter ways. CLN is a grassroots way of learning about the assets of Chautauqua County - the businesses, non-profits, volunteer groups, and most importantly, the people who are invested in this place we call home."
Members of the Class of 2013 are wrapping up their orientation year sessions and will facilitate an educational session on Oct. 24 at The Resource Center, sharing their experiences exploring the county in small group "safaris." Following their safari reports, Eric Skowronski, director of lifelong learning at SUNY Fredonia and member of the Class of 2009, will lead the class through a SWOT analysis of their year. On Nov. 14, the class will have a full day learning to lead appreciatively at Chautauqua Institution with another favorite trainer for CLN, Larry Robinson of Partners and Robinson. The Class of 2013 will celebrate the completion of their class orientation year with a graduation and induction into CLN on Nov. 21.
For more information about the Chautauqua Leadership Network, contact director Penelope Hutton at 338-1555 or visit the organization's new website at www.chautauqualeadership.org. Application materials are available online.