Local business leaders to start leadership development program

Staff Report

MASON COUNTY — After a hiatus due to COVID-19, several business leaders in Mason County are announcing their intent to start a leadership development program for business, civic, and community leaders.

Leadership Mason County is a professional development opportunity that broadens perspectives and allows participants to gain an increased understanding of community dynamics and public issues affecting the place we all live, work, and play. It will be established for the purpose of identifying and developing leaders in the Mason County area, exposing them to issues and problems confronting our community, informing them about institutions in the community, and providing a forum for the participants to better know each other and network. Each class of Leadership Mason County will encompass a diverse group of professionals and volunteers who have attained leadership positions in their field or aspire to take on greater leadership responsibility; learning ways to make a positive contribution to the community, developing and practicing their leadership skills, and gaining a more comprehensive background on the contemporary issues concerning our region. This initiative is an annual program of the Mason County Chamber of Commerce.

Spearheading the development of the program include: Jeff Noblin, CEO at Pleasant Valley Hospital; Leigh Ann Shepard, First Vice President at City National Bank; and Larry Jones, Owner, Point Financial Services.

“We all have a desire to do something positive for Mason County and in developing this program, we hope to be able to lay a strong foundation of community leadership development that will serve our county for years to come,” Larry Jones said.

Jeff Noblin and Leigh Ann Shepard developed the concept from other similar leadership classes they have participated in over the years.

“I recently completed Leadership West Virginia and it really gave me an appreciation for all our state has to offer,” said Leigh Ann Shepard.

Jeff Noblin, further said, “It’s amazing what you can learn about a community; its history, its culture, and it’s people with a program like this. This will definitely be a great resource for aspiring leaders in Mason County who want to make a measurable difference in the place we all live, work, and play.”

With a dedicated mission of trying to improve the quality of life of Mason County, alumni of the program will have a greater impact in the community when working together to share and implement ideas.

“With a thriving economic development scene, including the recent announcements of two new plants in Mason County (NuCor and Frontieras), we feel like the time is right to launch Leadership Mason County to provide education, improve leadership, and attempt to address some of the improvement opportunities in Mason County,” said Leigh Ann Shepard.

Leadership Mason County will hold annual classes from September thru May each year, with the inaugural class starting in late September 2022. Each month’s class will focus on a specific area of interest, for example: the history of Mason County; agriculture; the river industry; tourism; economic development; county government and the judicial system; social services and healthcare; etc. In addition, one session will focus on state government and include a trip to the State House in Charleston to see legislative action at work. Also, each class will work on a specific improvement project that will benefit Mason County.

Leadership Mason County is open to any interested individuals (business leaders, civic leaders, community volunteers, or aspiring leaders). Applications can be accessed via the Leadership Mason County website at www.leadershipmasoncounty.com or picked up from the Mason County Chamber of Commerce. For more information, please contact the Mason County Chamber of Commerce at (304) 675-1050.

Information provided by Leadership Mason County.

Staff Report