Leadership Clinton: Participants learn about community, look to future

By Clinton County Leadership Institute

WILMINGTON — Beginning its fourth decade this fall, Leadership Clinton has only a few openings left for Class 31 which begins in late August.

Take yourself back to 1986. The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after take-off. A new car costs under $10,000. A gallon of gas is 89 cents. An in Clinton County you can buy 10 acres and a fully modern 3-bedroom home for $70,000.

Also in 1986 Wilmington and Clinton County chamber leaders, under the leadership of Wilmington College President Robert Lucas, were faced with a challenge: How do you mentor and grow business leaders and get them engaged in the community?

The answer was – and still is 31 years later – Leadership Clinton.

The original planning, implementation and selection of class members fell to a group of community leaders that will spark memories for many Clinton Countians – Robert E. Lucas, President of Wilmington College; James R. Powell, President, Liberty Savings Bank; Elmer Williams, Campbell Graf, Harry McKinley, Linden Damschroder; and many other small and large business representatives, pledged their time and money to begin a community leadership program, an independent nonprofit organization, labeled Clinton County Leadership Institute.

That group of 30 community leaders chose 10 outstanding young community members to be as members of Leadership Clinton’s first class.

More than 500 adults have graduated from Leadership Clinton and the Youth Collaborative.

To August 2017

Leadership Clinton embarks on a special occasion for the start of its fourth decade: Year of the Leader – Look to the Future.

This coming year’s class involves not just any leader from any level, but those who are at the helm of their business, their nonprofit, their workforce position, their community, their county. Why have they chosen to join? Because they want a broader community perspective.

They want to be a part of a strong, desirable community and county. They want to be involved in local decision-making and to actively work toward community goals.

Program participants gain both an educational component, with panels and tours, plus they discuss issues with current business and community leaders and among themselves. Case studies deal with actual community problems. Adopted community projects tackle one or more issues.

Class members apply skills in group dynamics, conflict management, problem-solving, communications, community economic development and the region. Through networking and sharing ideas, the class increases their knowledge of local human resources, organizations and working teams. They discover differing perspectives that contribute to positive solutions.

During the past 30 years, Leadership Clinton classes and program alumni graduates have Made A Difference. Projects were, and in many cases, still are: Make A Difference Day, Cardboard City, Clinton County Youth Council, City of Wilmington and Clinton County Parks development, Junior Achievement for third graders, the Fire Safety Van, the CC Homeless Shelters remodeling, Chautauqua I and II, Habitat for Humanity, Cancer Prevention, Recycling Education, Murphy Theatre performances, My Father’s Kitchen benefits, Blindness Prevention for first graders, plus both community and county task forces on drug abuse, illiteracy, land use planning, and water use and water quality.

Common themes echoed by graduates – and even Clinton County natives — include “I had no idea Wilmington/Clinton County has such an impact on the world”; “LC helps me feel responsible for what’s going on”; “What a cohesive group we are!” And, “… we put aside our personal interests and differences and worked together to benefit others!”

In the last three decades, an increasing number of commuters to and from Clinton County have expressed a desire to live where neighbors know each other, where our young people and children can grow in a strong, natural setting, plus be economically mixed – gaining a true picture of our country, and our community, plus learning to give back to our community and our people.

Join with the Clinton County Leadership Institute and its adult and youth Leadership Programs to Look To The Future! Become a class participant, volunteer as a class day speaker or sponsor, or join us as an event participant.

For further information, call CCLI 937-382-7120 or visit www.leadershipclinton.org.


By Clinton County Leadership Institute