• 61°

Leadership Marengo graduates 16th class

Literally hundreds of Marengo County businesspeople have taken part in the program called Leadership Marengo, and all of them have gotten something out of it to help them be better at their business and better at being civic leaders.

The 16th class of Leadership Marengo held its graduation last week, and the 18 members of the class completed their year-long membership in the group.

This year’s class included Aliquippa Allen, Jason Cannon, Jennifer Cassity, Leon Clark, Felicia Collins, Jenna Cook, Jeanette Crusoe, Steve Davis, Brian Doss, Debbie Foxhall, Jake Key, Jeff Laduron, John Lehning, Angelia Mance, Linda Murdock, Jacky Poole, Abby Wadsworth and Walt Weninegar

“We follow a planned program,” said Catherine Meador, who serves on the organization’s steering committee. “We have five sessions that meet throughout the year from September through May, and we meet at different locations throughout Marengo County.

“For one of those sessions, we travel to Montgomery to see how the Legislature works, and the high school version of Leadership Marengo, YOUth LEAD, goes with us on that trip. We were able to hear from the gubernatorial candidates as well as tour the State House.”

Jacky Poole of Smokin’ Jack’s Bar-B-Que was a member of this year’s Leadership Marengo class.

“I learned a lot about Demopolis that I didn’t know before,” Poole said. “Things like the number of businesses around the area that I didn’t know we had. It was also a good experience meeting new people. Everybody was from a different walk of life, but we had the same goal: wanting what was best for Demopolis.

“I really enjoyed going to Montgomery and seeing how the laws were made, and actually seeing that live! It was interesting to see how the process works; a lot of us felt like there should be an easier way to make a law! We were lucky enough to have five of the gubernatorial candidates there, and they had a little debate there, too.”

Poole said that he got a lot from the class that he can use in his business.

“I knew about the class, because I served on the Chamber board for three years,” he said. “I thought it would be something that I could learn different aspects of business from different people that would help me out in my business.”

People who take part in the class also find it to be a good networking tool, to get to know other businesspeople around the county and outside of the county.

Participants learn about demographics, diversity, economic development, education and other topics.

“I felt like we had a really strong group, as always,” Meador said. “They seemed very eager to continue their leadership pursuits in the community and in the workplace. This program is a mix of informing the participants about community events — around the county and the cities — as well as incorporating activities that teach leadership skills or encourage thinking about being better leaders.”

Applications to take part in Leadership Marengo for the 2010-11 year will be available at the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce office downtown on Washington Street. Tuition for the program is $200. More information can be obtained by calling the Chamber office at (334) 289-0270.