A new expedition

Osceola Leadership Summit kicks off 2012-13 experience

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Sitting back-to-back with her arms locked with two other leaders at the Eagle Village adventure learning center, Jill Halladay found it was harder than expected to accomplish the task at hand. In an activity meant to encourage thinking and cooperation, two groups of three individuals were asked to transition from a sitting position to a standing position, while remaining hooked at the elbows. Both groups struggled to complete the activity, which led to a discussion on how the experience related to productive leadership. “It’s hard work being a productive team and being on the same page,” said Halladay, incoming District Two Osceola County Commissioner and a participant in the 2012-13 class of the Osceola Leadership Summit. Led by facilitator Al Weinberg, the second class of the Osceola Leadership Summit kicked off a nine-month expedition of one-day-a-month hands-on leadership training on Sept. 21 and 22. The group traveled around the county, building relationships with one another while meeting local business owners and participating in recreational activities. “The whole point of the first session was to build a community,” Weinberg said. “Since we are going to be working closely together in the next nine months, it is vital to our success that everyone feels comfortable with each other.” The Osceola Leadership Summit was created last year to help leaders connect with and discover their community through a series of field trips and lessons in effective communication. The inaugural class visited schools, health care facilities and the state capitol, saw emergency response demonstrations and learned about local media. Weinberg said this year’s class will have the same experience. “Last year’s class was so successful, I’m just trying to build off that success and build program continuity,” he said. At the summit’s first session, participants established a mission statement, which outlines the expectations of the group as they continue the session each month. Participants vowed to commit themselves to learning and understanding their community by being county-minded. “I was really impressed with some of the concepts they brought up,” Weinberg said. “For a group of people who have never met each other to be thinking like this, that’s a great group of people to be working with.” The next OLS session will be on Oct. 18, when the class will learn about public safety. The group will take a tour of the Osceola County Jail, meet with a judge, the prosecuting attorney and a defense attorney. They also will participate in a role-playing scenario to expand their knowledge of the county’s judicial system. “The more we start working together and understanding the aspects of our community, the more leaders we can get from all four corners of our county to be Osceola County-minded,” Weinberg said. “This class is vital to the success of Osceola County in the long run.”
  • Robbie Foremen, Occupational Services at Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital
  • Jill Halladay, incoming Osceola County Commissioner
  • Stacie Dvonch, Michigan Works
  • Rosie McKinstry, Osceola County Equalization
  • Carey Johnson, Carey’s Country Garden
  • Eric Schmidt, Evart Mayor
  • Chris Gentry, Director for the Kettunen Center
  • Karen Copeman, KC’s party store
  • Kelly Hubbard, Cushman’s appraisal