KOKOMO, Ind. — Leadership Kokomo, a civic initiative that has been developing community leaders for more than 30 years, has honored 20 individuals who recently completed the program as the LK Class of 2013. Graduates, their sponsors and LK alumni joined in the celebration at a graduation luncheon at the Kokomo Event & Conference Center.
In the opening remarks, Steve Daily, chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region, challenged the class to not wait for someone to call, but to go out into the community and volunteer. In his alumni message to the class, Kent Eaton, personnel director at General Motors Components Holdings’ Kokomo Operations and a member of the LK Class of 2010, encouraged audience members to apply the excellent learning experiences they received in Leadership Kokomo by finding an organization and getting involved.
“Your talents, skills and presence will add value!” Eaton said. “Look for ways to incorporate your volunteer work into other aspects of your life. … You will get more than you give when you volunteer. … More volunteers are always needed.”
Members of the Leadership Kokomo Class of 2013 and sponsors included:
Amber Barney, St. Joseph St. Vincent Hospital
Holly Becker, Kokomo Police Department and Family Services Association
Chadwick Collins, Fresh Start Ministries
Amy Conrad, Kokomo Tribune
Gary Friend Jr., Bucheri McCarty & Metz LLP
Ethan Heicher, Ivy Tech Community College
Kim Kuntz, GMCH
Karon Lancaster, Esther’s Place Boutique
Marjorie Lea, Margie’s Sports & Therapeutic Massage
Sharon Leach, St. Joseph St. Vincent Hospital
Jon Malin, Community First Bank of Indiana
Tom Miklik, City of Kokomo
Shannon Querry, The Crossing Educational Center
Alex Reis, Delphi
Shaina Shutt, American Red Cross
Marlo Stevens, Comfort Inn/Pillar Hotels
Kevin Summers, City of Kokomo
Sarah Thomas, Girl Scouts of America
Zachary Washler, Shiloh United Methodist Church
Tom Wise, Indiana University Kokom0
For more than 30 years, Howard County organizations have benefitted from the group projects that are an integral part of the leadership program. At the luncheon, team leaders described the 2013 class projects that served four non-profit organizations: Coordinated Assistance Ministries Inc. (CAM); Open Arms Women’s Shelter, The Domestic Violence Women’s Shelter and Carver Community Center.
The project benefitting CAM involved renovation of three rooms that suffered recent water damage, including installation of a computer lab, to meet the growing needs of CAM residents. The Open Arms Women’s Shelter received updates to the children’s learning area and teen room and the LK group finished work on an outdoor play area. The LK team supporting the Domestic Violence Women’s Shelter donated a commercial grade washer and vacuum cleaner and painted several rooms. At Carver Community Center, the LK group provided supplies for youth activities at the center and worked to create an outdoor children’s area, including a garden and mural; members plan to return next spring to complete their expanded project.
Each of the four project teams worked through team development and project planning and implementation. All of the teams engaged other members of the community as well as businesses and organizations to complete their service projects.
The Leadership Kokomo Program brings together a diverse group of existing and emerging community leaders and, through a year-long series of meetings and service opportunities, enables them to become resourceful stewards of the community. Participants in Leadership Kokomo benefit from the program’s objectives including learning new leadership skills, creating community awareness, team-building, creating stewardship opportunities and fostering a community vision.
LK is a cooperative effort between Ivy Tech Community College and the City of Kokomo. Members of the Class of 2014 will be named soon. For more information on Leadership Kokomo, check its website, www.leadershipkokomo.org , and connect with Leadership Kokomo on Facebook