LK graduate sees program as way to raise community’s quality of life
KOKOMO, Ind. — Long-time Kokomo public relations manager and non-profit volunteer Carrie Giannakos has taken the reins of Leadership Kokomo as director of the 34-year-old program that trains people to serve as community leaders.
Giannakos is herself a graduate of Leadership Kokomo and has served as a member of its board of directors.
“Volunteerism and working to raise the quality of life in our local community are a part of who I am,” Giannakos said. “I know the value of Leadership Kokomo and I am excited to have this opportunity to assist in the development of the future leaders of our community.”
In her professional life, Giannakos served as professional relations coordinator for Jarrell Orthodontics for eight years and as executive director of the National Appliance Service Association (NASA), a non-profit trade association, and NASA’s for-profit Bulk Buy subsidiary for about 18 years. She also served as executive director of Project Access, a United Way agency that delivers comprehensive medical care to qualified, uninsured resident of Howard County at little or no cost to the patient.
As a community volunteer, she serves on the First Friday and Strawberry Festival committees of the Kokomo Downtown Association. During her tenure on the board of directors for the Literacy Coalition, she created and chaired the organization’s Dancing with the Stars fundraiser. She has also served on the board of Altrusa Kokomo and the Designers’ Showhome and has worked with Howard Haven, the Coordinated Assistance Ministries (CAM) Family Hope Center, the Haynes Apperson Day Festival, and the Kokomo Symphony. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the Indiana University School of Business.
Giannakos replaces Leadership Kokomo director Sharon Reed-Corbett, who retired at the end of 2015.
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.
In addition to leadership training, participants in Leadership Kokomo share networking opportunities, increased community awareness, volunteer opportunities and personal and professional development. Local issues and programs will be introduced through panel discussions, individual speakers, on-site visits, group discussions and simulations.
Leadership Kokomo’s Class of 2016 began meeting in January.