Leadership Clinton Class of ’18 hits the ground running


WILMINGTON — Starting the early morning as a combination of virtual strangers, mere acquaintances and longtime friends, the Leadership Clinton Class of 2018 ended last Friday evening as a budding team.

The Clinton County Leadership Institute, founded in 1986, conducts adult and youth leadership programs “designed to develop leaders by increasing their knowledge of the county and leadership styles and skills so they may actively participate in leadership roles in the county’s civic, professional, business and nonprofit organizations.”

The 2018 class of just over a dozen people, ranging in age from 25 to 65, was led by facilitator Lisa Nack and Leadership Clinton’s Cathy Koerner and Diane Murphy.

The day began with brainstorming — drawing upon the collective experiences and knowledge of the group as well as common best practices of others — and setting objectives and expectations for both the day and for the nine-month leadership class.

The morning continued with fun but challenging team-building and ice-breaking exercises, including “Zip/Zap/Zoom.” In that, class attendees sat in a circle with one person in the middle who would point at someone and say, “Zip!” — the person pointed to had to name the person to his or her right; “Zap!” meant that the person pointed to had to name the person to his or her left; and/or “Zoom!” which meant everyone had to get up and race to a different chair.

The person remaining in the middle each time had to lead the exercise — until a person failed to say the correct name or failed to follow instructions, then that person was relegated to the middle of the circle.

That exercise combined with others meant that names were learned — and folks got to know each other — quickly.

The group then spent time going over and discussing each other’s career personal bests as well as best practices and common leadership skills of others.

During a hearty lunch prepared by Camp Kirkwood staff, the class learned more about the history of Leadership Clinton, followed by examples of past classes’ Community Projects — a unique annual project that each Leadership class takes on and follows through to benefit the community.

Participants then had some time to explore the beautiful grounds of Camp Kirkwood.

After lunch the focus was on the Five Practices of Leadership, followed by a session called Experiencing the Practices, especially the keys of “Inspiring a Shared Vision” and “Trust and Team Building.”

Late in the afternoon brought a social hour as the group welcomed past Leadership Clinton graduates and members of the Clinton County Leadership Institute Board of Directors.

Dinner was a sumptuous feast of grilled chicken and burgers prepared by Bob Schaad and Fadi Al-Ghawi along with a variety of tasty homemade salads and other specialties of LC alumni and community members.

At 6:30 p.m. the Class of ’18 gathered on the Camp Kirkwood Lodge patio overlooking the pond for what Cathy Koerner described as the most important part of the day — “Meet My Artifact.”

Prior to the day class members were each asked to bring some personal item that holds special meaning. Each attendee spent several minutes sharing the meaning and emotion of his or her artifact, allowing each person to forge a more personal connection to classmates.

The day ended with an informal evaluation of the day and looking forward to the events and activities set for September and beyond as the new team prepares to venture out into the Clinton County community.

News Journal Editor Tom Barr is a member of the Leadership Clinton Class of 2018.

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Several members of the class are shown during a team-building exercise at Camp Kirkwood. The goal for the 12 participants was to “simply” take a long rope and make it a perfect square. However, each participant was blindfolded, and had to always keep two hands on the rope without ever letting go. By the 45-minute time limit, the group had put the rope in a (nearly) perfect square.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/08/web1_DSCN1648.jpgSeveral members of the class are shown during a team-building exercise at Camp Kirkwood. The goal for the 12 participants was to “simply” take a long rope and make it a perfect square. However, each participant was blindfolded, and had to always keep two hands on the rope without ever letting go. By the 45-minute time limit, the group had put the rope in a (nearly) perfect square.

The Leadership Clinton Class of 2018 is shown after a long but very successful day at Camp Kirkwood. From left are: front, Eric Guindon, Pam McCoy, Kelsey Swindler, Carrie Zeigler and Kristi Fickert; back, Gene Coffman, Tom Barr, Richard James, Dan Evers, Jim Barnett, Brad Reynolds and Matt Wahrhaftig. Not shown are Susan Valentine and Kevin Abt.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/08/web1_DSCN1659.jpgThe Leadership Clinton Class of 2018 is shown after a long but very successful day at Camp Kirkwood. From left are: front, Eric Guindon, Pam McCoy, Kelsey Swindler, Carrie Zeigler and Kristi Fickert; back, Gene Coffman, Tom Barr, Richard James, Dan Evers, Jim Barnett, Brad Reynolds and Matt Wahrhaftig. Not shown are Susan Valentine and Kevin Abt.
31st Leadership Clinton class underway

By Tom Barr

tbarr@wnewsj.com

Members of the Leadership Clinton Class of ’18 and their businesses/organizations are: Kevin Abt, Laurel Oaks; Jim Barnett, Southern State; Tom Barr, News Journal; Gene Coffman, Wilmington Savings Bank; Dan Evers, Clinton County Port Authority; Kristi Fickert, Republican Central Committee; Eric Guindon, Clinton County Youth Council; Richard James, Veterans Service Commission; Pam McCoy, McCoy Farms; Brad Reynolds, Ohio Living Cape May; Kelsey Swindler, Clinton Memorial Hospital; Susan Valentine, Clinton County Visitors Bureau; Matt Wahrhaftig, Wilmington College; and Carrie Zeigler, State Farm Insurance.