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Chamber’s Excellence in Leadership program kicks off 30th year developing leaders in Morgan County

Friday, September 1, 2017

RELEASE 17-011

Excellence in Leadership, the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce flagship leader development program, kicked off Aug. 30, starting the eight-month class with a group of 38 students coming from Morgan County businesses, industries, small businesses, healthcare providers, municipalities, school systems and non-profits.

The program – previously known as Leadership Morgan County – began in 1987 and is designed to identify, orient, develop and network existing and emerging leaders with the goal of enhancing positive growth in the area business community. The class will meet once a month, with each day-long session focusing on single topics including healthcare, economic development, education, tourism, city and county government, law enforcement and society simulation. The class also includes a service project, where members of the class select an area non-profit to support through fundraising and community service. More than 1,050 professionals have graduated from the program since its inception.

“Making sure our community has individuals prepared to lead in the next generation is part of this Chamber’s mission and responsibility,” said John Seymour, president and CEO of the Chamber. “This area needs leaders equipped with decision-making skills, strategic thinking and the ability to collaborate. Students in this program will be exposed to other community leaders who will share that expertise, and that’s a unique opportunity we’re excited to offer.”

Chamber members nominate individuals from their workforce, and participants are selected by members of the Chamber Leadership Committee. “Graduation” for the class takes place during the Chamber’s Small Business Awards Celebration in May.

The 2017-18 class members, and their employers:

Monica Bates, Community Action Partnership; Rebecca Bibb, Community Action Partnership; Denice Carter, Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce; Mike Conrad, Decatur Morgan Hospital; Taylor Crow, United Launch Alliance; Kim Crow, Morgan County Schools; Autumn Dilbeck, Renasant Bank; Katelyn Dodd, Community Action Partnership; Katherine Earley, Ascend Performance Materials; Maryanne Floyd, Decatur Morgan County CVB; Jamie Foote, Toray Fluorofibers; Dave Hamilton, United Launch Alliance; Michelle Howell, 3M; Tommie Johnson, Decatur City Schools; Jason Kiefer, Cook's Pest Control; Taylor Lawrence, River City Electrical; Wyatt Montgomery, Fite Building Company; Valerie Moody, United Launch Alliance; Ashley Peebles, Community Action Partnership; Jamie Penley, Decatur City Schools; Sherry Pentecost, United Way of Morgan County; Jon Polasky, 3M; Chelsea Pounders, United Launch Alliance; Cindy Reid, Toray Fluorofibers; Cady Roeber, United Launch Alliance; Marley Schmid, Decatur Morgan County CVB; Honi Smith, Morgan County Schools; Sandra Smith, J.M. Smucker; John Soisson, Ascend Performance Materials; Andy Staggs, Contractor Service & Fabrication; Theresa Stier, Physician Business Solutions; Beth Terry, Tennessee Valley Training Center; Suzanne Thompson, Community Action Partnership; Vincent Vincent, Calhoun Community College; Jake Way, Fite Building Company; Lewis White, Morgan County Schools; Jordan Young, Decatur Utilities; Matt Young, Evans & Harris, P.C.


The Chamber wishes to thank its Strategic Partners for their support.

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515 Sixth Avenue NE   Decatur, Alabama 35601   Phone: (256) 353-5312   Fax: (256) 353-2384


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