Chamber kicks off Leadership Institute

LEWISTOWN — The Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce kicked off its Leadership Institute Wednesday at the Lewistown Country Club. There are 15 students in the inaugural class representing a variety of businesses and organizations.

“We strongly believe that our future leaders need the opportunity to incorporate prior experiences with newfound knowledge to equip them to empower and influence those around them,” said Rhonda Moore, executive director of the chamber. “This is something that was lacking in our community, so we decided as a chamber to begin the institute. We believe that great leaders move and inspire, improving their workplace and communities.”

This educational program will run from September to May, with students meeting once a month from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Moore said the training is local and community based, since it is the chamber’s belief that one must understand the community in which they work and serve to be an effective employee and resident.

The program will cover the following topics: history–our heritage, community, economic development and entrepreneurism, healthcare, human services and community non-profits, law and government, community leadership, education and workforce development, tourism, arts and culture, and will culminate with a closing graduation celebration to be held at Lily Manor in Mifflin, May 20, 2020.

Moore said the institute took a lot of planning and collaboration and would not have been possible without the assistance of the leadership committee, which consists of Cher Harpster, chair, Oksana DeArment, Barb Harer, Will Campbell, Nick Felice and Breanne Baily.

Angela Hummel, of Angela Hummel Consulting LLC, presented leadership insights, covering key characteristics of leaders, how to build trust and confidence with employees, what behaviors to avoid that undermine leadership, how to promote teamwork, acting decisively and how to demonstrate leadership in a crisis.

Institute student Buffie Boyer stated, “Through this leadership institute, I hope that I can hone my skills as a leader not only in my workplace, but also in my community. As a member of the first leadership class, I hope to learn more about my community, connect with other class members and build a network of peers who are all working towards the same goal.”

To find out more about how you can apply for next year’s class, contact the chamber office at (717) 248-6713 or email info@juniatarivervalley.org.