Submitted photo and press release:
Leadership Genesee graduated its 19th class of community members on Dec. 5that Terry Hills during a ceremony honoring their accomplishment and recognizing Eric Wies, LG 2019 Outstanding Alumnus.
Mark Beehler, athletic director, Elba Central School, spoke for the 29 members of the class, sharing perspectives of the year.
“This journey is really about relationships, building relationships between each other, with the community and strengthening the relationships we already had before this began," Beehler said.
Servant leadership is at the heart of Leadership Genesee, with a focus of enhancing the confidence and network for LG alumni to effectively serve our community.
“I figured a good leader got people to agree with them, follow them, and work towards a common goal," Beehler said. "But what I’ve learned through this program is that being a servant leader is much different. It is leading with the idea of serving others, not having them serve you.
Leadership Genesee Director Peggy Marone told the 150 in attendance: “Leadership is not rocket science. There’s no secret handshake, there’s no secret society, there’s no one better than you, there’s no one worse than you. Everyone has the capacity to lead.”
She continued, “Leadership is truly service, putting others first, not worrying about who takes the credit and growing the health and well being of the community so everyone can participate in a deserved quality of life. Leadership is one person at a time, one moment at a time.”
With a mission of “Exploring the Community & Encouraging the Leader Within,” Leadership Genesee is a yearlong program designed to raise awareness of the needs and challenges that affect Genesee County and to enhance individual leadership skills with a focus on giving back to the community.
The Leadership Genesee Class of 2019 includes: Mark Beehler, Marie Bell, Joshua P. Bernard, Joel M. Boyer, Anita Cleveland, Ben Dennis, Jenna M. DiFilippo, David G. Diegelman, Steven Falitico, Lezlie A. Farrell, Rachel A. Hale, Betsy Halvorsen, Shawn Heubusch, Courtney Iburi, Daniel G. Insinna, John J. Maloney Jr., Emily L. Marling, Kimberly M. Mills, Martin Moore, Gregory Muench, Tonya Phillips, Robert Riggi, Nicole L. Salmonds, Jaylene E. Smith-Kilner, Kelly Jo Stein, Christian A. Townes, Matthew Walther, Kaitlyn Warren and Sarah Welker.
The graduation of the Class of 2019 brings the LG Alumni total to 514 since the program’s inception in 2001.
Planning Committee members were Stacey Anderson ’03, Amy Barone ’13, Michelle Dills ’05, Mickey Hyde ’06, Lisa Ormsbee ’12, Danielle Rotondo ’08, Ann Marie Suttell ’12 and Thad Thompson ’13.
The evening’s sponsors were Human Energies, Terry Hills Restaurant, Whitman Printing and Laurie Pfaff, LG Class of 2009.
To learn more about the Leadership Genesee experience, contact Program Director Peggy Marone at (585)353-3040, ext. 118. You may also contact Marone via e-mail at [email protected] or visit Leadership Genesee’s website.
Leadership Genesee is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension Genesee County.