Osceola Leadership Summit begins new year

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Learning more about where you live and work is essential to becoming a part of a community.

That’s the goal of the Osceola Leadership Summit, said Al Weinberg of Frontline Specialists, a business consulting firm that administers the nine-month-long leadership development program.

“We work with men and women who live or work in Osceola County who want to gain a better understanding of the county they live and work in, as well as knowledge to be a better leader,” he said.

Another aspect of the Leadership Summit, Weinberg said, is the valuable networking that happens among the participants.

“You become a better-known person, and more knowledgeable about things that are going on in your community,” he said. “You get to know people who work all over the county and that expands your network. Your networking within the community grows exponentially. Participants walk away feeling ‘This is my community, not just my city. I know about things and people in all four corners of Osceola County.’”

Recently, the Osceola Leadership Summit kicked off its sixth installment of the program with a retreat, helped with funds from Ice Mountain, the Evart Downtown Development Authority and the Evart Chamber of Commerce.

The two-day event began on Thursday, Sept. 15, with some team-building exercises on the high ropes course at Eagle Village and then a tour around the county with an “Amazing Race” type of challenge for the 12 participants. At each of the 13 unique businesses and locations around Osceola County, Weinberg said participants were on three teams competing against each other.

“Participants were able to make a few memories and have a little fun,” he said. “One of the places we stopped was Fowler’s Home on the Range, and they had a rifle marksmanship competition. We stopped at Swick Custom Butchering and they got to play ‘Know Your Cuts of Meat.’”

Participants also attended an Amish school, where the three teams were outmatched by the students in a game about state capitals, Weinberg said.

Weinberg said there are a lot of “ah-ha” moments for participants as they go through the program.

“The thing people say all the time is, ‘You think you know the place where you work and live,’” Weingberg said. “Some participants are from Osceola County, they were born and raised here, work here, and they had no idea that some of these places even existed or something was going on.”

By the end of the Leadership Summit, Weinberg said participants move on from the program with a better knowledge of what is happening around Osceola County and themselves.

“I also think we work with them to be strength finders,” he said. “We help them understand where their strengths are and how to utilize that in their personal and professional life. A lot of people have become better employees and employers by participating in the Leadership Summit.”