Future leaders wanted

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 14, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Prospective leaders in the city should plan to attend the fifth annual Suffolk Leadership Academy this spring.

Suffolk Tomorrow, Paul D. Camp Community College, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce-Suffolk and the city will kick off the seven-week course on March 9. The class is designed to help participants develop and strengthen leadership skills and to give them a better understanding of city and state government.

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Participants will hear from a distinguished line-up of city and community leaders and will have an opportunity to discuss current issues facing Suffolk as it continues to grow and assume a role of greater prominence in Hampton Roads,&uot; said Dr. George Barnett, former mayor and founder of the city’s first academy.

Retired Adm. Harry Train, former supreme commander of the Atlantic Fleet, will speak during the opening session of the course. That class, scheduled from 5:30 to 8 p.m. March 9 in City Council Chambers, is open to the public.

The weekly courses will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through May 25, when a closing banquet will be held at the Suffolk Holiday Inn.

Topics will include local and state government, economic development/tourism, regionalism, agriculture/CEO forum, education, volunteerism, and a mayor’s forum.

The first half of each class is devoted to instruction in theory and practical application of leadership skills by W. Ross Boone and associates, Barnett said. The second half of the class time will be spent with various guest speakers.

The leadership forum is beneficial to both participants and the city, Barnett said.

&uot;We want to educate and develop leaders who will make a positive effort to strengthen out city and make it a better place to live and work,&uot; said Barnett. &uot;It is a great opportunity for those who desire to improve their ability to move up in their employment opportunities, meet new leaders and become better acquainted with the history of Suffolk.&uot;

Oftentimes, leadership academy alumni have gone on to serve as volunteers on the boards and commissions in the city, Barnett said.

Tuition is $250, which covers the cost of the materials needed for the class.

If needed, partial financial assistance is available.

For more information or an application to the Suffolk Leadership Academy, call Barnett at 539-8183.