Leadership DeKalb completed the program’s 17th year with the Class of 2015 graduation celebration this past Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at the New Life Connection Center in Smithville. The welcome was made by Jen Sherwood, Leadership DeKalb Director, and Suzanne Williams, Executive Director, Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce.
Each of the class members of the Class of 2015 had a part in the evening’s festivities, all centered around a theme of “Red Carpet Glam”. The program was MC’ed by the effervescent Rhonda Harpole. Dinner music was coordinated by Andrea Kalina. Ale Maciel recognized the leader award winners, who were announced at the chamber’s annual banquet; Legacy Leader award winners Jack & Faye Underhill, in particular for their many years of volunteer service and leadership given to the DeKalb County Fair, and Community Leader of 2014 Jeff Cantrell, for his leadership and service to the Farmer’s Market.
Each year, the class selects a community project to give back and improve DeKalb County in some way. The Class of 2014 class project final report was presented by Lisa Cripps (LD Class of 2014). Their class project was to raise funds supporting the “specials” at each of the five DeKalb County Schools. Todd Hasty of the Class of 2015 announced that the class of 2015 has chosen two projects. The first is “Bucks for Beds” which will partner with Cantrell’s Furniture and the Department of Children’s Services to help provide resources for at risk families who need beds for their children. The second class project is to revive the Youth Leadership DeKalb program at DCHS.
A fun and poignant slideshow overview of the Class of 2015 was presented by class president, Josh Issac. Norene Puckett read a thorough day-by-day explanation of the year. An original poem was recited by Lydia Trail. Participants’ biographies and program layout was compiled by Beth Adcock. Becky Thompson arranged for the decorations, Laura Stone photographer, and the banquet meal. Jen Sherwood and Suzanne Williams recognized each member of the class at the evening’s end, signifying the completion of the program. The members of the class of 2015 are: Beth Adcock, Smithville Police Department; Kalah Donnell, Wilson Bank & Trust, Alexandria; Rhonda Harpole, DTC-TV host - State of the Arts; Todd Hasty, Premier Realty at Center Hill Lake; Andrea Kalina, Federal Mogul; Ale Maciel, DCHS student/Smithville Rotary Club; Josh Issac, Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce; Norene Puckett, DeKalb Co Drug Court; Becky Thompson, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas; and Lydia Trail, DCHS student/Smithville Rotary Club.
Many thanks to Leadership DeKalb’s program presenters, sponsors and hosts throughout the year. A special thank you to the wonderful folks of New Life Pentecostal Church’s Connection Center, Family Medical Center (program copies), Kilgore’s Restaurant and Donna Hendrix for catering, DCHS for the use of their red carpets, Laura Stone for photography, and Susan Young for helping to serve the delicious meal.
Leadership DeKalb is an adult leadership enhancement program. This program is for individuals who are or show the desire for the role of community trustees. Participants will study the county in-depth; strengthen leadership skills; and build a network of fellow leaders through Leadership DeKalb classmates, alumni, presenters, and current leaders in business, services and our community. Leadership DeKalb shapes our county’s future with knowledgeable, effective and active leaders. Our next class will begin in September of 2015. For more information on being in next year’class, please contact program director Jen Sherwood at 615-464-0645 or the chamber office at 615-597-4163.