WILMINGTON — The 31st class of Leadership Clinton graduated Thursday evening at the annual ceremony held in the McCoy Room of the Kelly Center on the campus of Wilmington College.
Leadership Clinton programs “develop the county’s greatest resource — people — by enhancing their leadership skills and experiences” with the mantra “Develop, Inspire, and Connect People Today to Shape Our Tomorrows.”
Starting one early August morning at Camp Kirkwood as a combination of virtual strangers, mere acquaintances and longtime friends — ranging in age from 25 to 65 — the Leadership Clinton Class of 2018 ended that evening as a budding team.
They continued with monthly sessions of learning about many aspects of Clinton County, from government to agriculture to history — while continuing to build a team of leaders and putting energy into various volunteer projects.
The 2018 class consists of (along with their businesses/sponsors):
• Kevin Abt, Laurel Oaks Career Campus
• Jim Barnett, Southern State Community College
• Tom Barr, Wilmington News Journal
• Gene Coffman, Wilmington Savings Bank
• Dan Evers, Clinton County Port Authority
• Kristi Fickert, 30 Lines (sponsored by Clinton County Republican Party)
• Eric Guindon, Clinton County Youth Council (sponsored by HealthFirst)
• Richard James, Veterans Service Commission
• Pam McCoy, McCoy Farms
• Brad Reynolds, Ohio Living Cape May
• Kelsey Swindler, Clinton Memorial Hospital
• Susan Valentine-Scott, Clinton County Visitors Bureau
• Matt Wahrhaftig, Wilmington College
• Carrie Zeigler, State Farm Insurance
The group — individually and as small teams — shared their class project, which was actually many small projects spent volunteering with mostly nonprofit organizations across the county.
Guest speaker was Sam Stratman, who shared leadership philosophies and visions from his experiences in Washington, D.C. political circles as well as from working with volunteer groups in Clinton County.
Two other outstanding community leaders, Ruth Hayes and Patrick Haley, were honored by the Clinton County Leadership Institute for their years of professional and civic service to the county.
CCLI Board Member Terry Habermehl served as emcee for the evening.
The 14 graduates are very grateful to all the CCLI board members, volunteers, speakers and business/organizations that made their experiences great ones, and especially to Cathy Koerner, who served as organizer, motivator, arm-twister, den mother and confidante to all the participants.
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 Clinton County Leadership Institute (CCLI) is an independent, public benefit, 501 (c)(3) corporation that provides opportunities for community-minded participants to network to learn about Clinton County, and to assume leadership roles in their communities.
The institute is funded through corporate and private donations, tuition fees, grants, and FUNdraising events such as the annual Dinner in the Fields. All donations to the organization are tax-deductible.
The Leadership Clinton Youth Collaborative graduation for its 2018 Class was held on March 15.