In its 33rd year, LK program honors 15 new graduates
KOKOMO, Ind. — Fifteen community leaders in business, industry, health care, city government, and ministry were honored Tuesday as Leadership Kokomo celebrated the completion of its 33rd edition of the leadership development program. The graduates were honored at a luncheon at the Kokomo Event & Conference Center also attended by their sponsors, LK alumni and other community leaders.
Members of Leadership Kokomo’s Class of 2015 and their sponsors include:
Jenni Adams, Fiat Chrysler Automobile and United Way
Kate A. Cook, The Wyman Group
Mike Fahrmann, Haynes International
Monica R. Gremelspacher, Community First Bank
Katie Guyer, Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance
Pamela S. Hanshew, Webster University Graduate Student
Ashley N. Howell, First Farmers Bank and Trust
Christopher Hummel, St. Vincent Kokomo
Jack Ingram, Delphi
David Owen, Comfort Home Health
Dantá Rogers, Carver Community Center
Aimee A. Romero, Security Federal Bank
Lisa Michelle Simmons, Grace Memorial Church
Thomas W. Tate III, City of Kokomo
Christopher Wisler, First Farmers Bank and Trust
Leadership Kokomo is a cooperative effort of Ivy Tech Community College and the City of Kokomo. In a year-long program, it aims to bring together a diverse group of existing and emerging community leaders to empower them to become resourceful stewards of the community. Each class is divided into teams to develop and complete group projects benefiting local organizations. At Tuesday’s luncheon, team leaders described the 2015 class projects that served three Kokomo non-profit organizations: Open Arms, Gilead House, and Carver Community Center.
The “Super Six” team worked to create a meditation garden out of an old playground area at Open Arms, an organization run by the Kokomo Rescue Mission for homeless women and their children. The goal was to create a space that can improve the quality of life and mental and emotional health of the women served by the home.
For the “A-Team” team, the goal was to beautify the front of The Gilead House’s new location at Sycamore Street and Apperson Way. The beautification, which included repair of the front steps and concrete wall, is seen as a benefit to both the staff and clients of the facility as well as an aesthetic improvement to one of the major entrances to downtown Kokomo.
The “Fab 5” team transformed Carver Community Center’s outdated “library” into a fresh home for the center’s technology lab. The facelift, which included paint and new floor coverings, coincided with installation of new computer technology through a grant from Center Township that has enhanced use of the facility by people of all ages.
Serving as guest speaker, the Rev. Bill McGill, president of CORD (Conquering Our Racial Divisions) and pastor of Imani Baptist Temple in Fort Wayne, brought a message of inspiration, encouragement and expectation. He emphasized the importance of volunteer involvement in solving the many social problems facing communities, saying while the graduates may have completed the Leadership Kokomo course, their graduation cannot be the end of their participation.
This was a return visit for McGill, who was guest speaker at last year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Gala in Kokomo. Audience members reacted enthusiastically to both the humor and the instruction in his remarks.
Sharon Reed-Corbett was honored for her four years of service as director of Leadership Kokomo. She is retiring from the position at the end of this year.
Applications for next Leadership Kokomo class, which begins Jan. 7, are being accepted through Dec. 7. For more information about LK and an application, visit www.leadershipkokomo.org or contact Reed-Corbett at 765-252-5498, or firstname.lastname@example.org .