COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (April 21, 2017) – Local nonprofit organization Leadership Whitley County (LWC), a program of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), recently celebrated the graduation of LWC Class 16.

Since 2001, more than 300 diverse participants have graduated from the LWC program. LWC is a seven-month experiential learning program designed to empower individuals to serve and become better leaders, engage individuals in the workplace and community, and connect them with resources to continue growing as a leader at home, in the workplace and in the community.

“I am honored to know each individual in this class,” said LWC Director Carrie Meyer, “They are true cheerleaders of each other and have created deep and meaningful relationships that will last for many years to come. They have all demonstrated their willingness to learn, listen and lead.”

Brian More, a graduate of LWC Class 1, and chief financial officer at Micropulse, Inc., was invited by the class to share some insight on servant leadership. More described the key characteristics of a true servant leader. He shared advice on the “do’s” and “do not’s” of leading others, based on what he’s learned and experienced over the years. He encouraged the class to do something, by challenging them to focus on two key takeaways from the program that they could use to grow as leaders. More closed his presentation with the well-known quote from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”

LWC Class 16 graduates included: Robbie Burita, Churubusco High School Student; Katie Clingerman, City of Columbia City; Justin Clupper, Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.; Renee Cone, Crossroads Bank; Eric Davies, Micropulse, Inc.; Dana Day, 80/20, Inc.; Julie Eck, 80/20, Inc.; Bradley Emerick, Restoration Medical Polymers; Joe Gomori, STAR Financial Bank; Jody Hollenbaugh, Whitley County Sheriff’s Department; Chris Horn, Fort Wayne Metals; Cassandra Jones, STAR Insurance Agency; Melanie Kellogg, March of Dimes; Alex Knollenberg, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership; Mark Leckrone, Reelcraft Industries, Inc.; Adam Lich, C&A Tool Engineering, Inc.; Sean Martin, Whitley County Sheriff’s Department; Madison More, Columbia City High School; Michael Papaik, Reelcraft Industries, Inc.; Cathy Petrie, Smith-Green Community School Board; and Michael Shoda, City of Columbia City.

The EDC and LWC would like to extend a special thank you to the main celebration sponsors, Fort Wayne Metals and Micropulse, Inc., supporting sponsor, Crossroads Bank, and event host, Belle Haven for their generosity and hospitality.

“Being a new professional in Whitley County, Leadership Whitley County was a great program for me to meet a diverse group of leaders and learn about the extensive opportunities to get involved in the county,” said class member Cassandra Jones, “The LWC program helped me develop professional skills from proper etiquette at a business function, to handling conflict and managing teams. It was an excellent experience!”

LWC is now accepting applications for Class 17 for the 2017-2018 year. Applications can be found on the EDC website at: https://whitleyedc.com/leadership-whitley-county/application/ or can be picked up at the Whitley County EDC office at 220 W. Van Buren St., Suite 102 in Columbia City. Please email completed applications to EDC Office Administrator, Beverly Flanagan at bflanagan@whitleyedc.com.

“If we are to continue to grow and improve as a community, we need to develop individuals that can lead us into the future,” said EDC President Jon Myers, “We look forward to the great things that we know this group will accomplish.”

The “early bird” application deadline is May 30, 2017 and the deadline for all applications is June 30, 2017. More details about early bird pricing is included on the application. Contact LWC Director Carrie Meyer with additional questions at cmeyer@whitleyedc.com or 260-244-5506.

About Leadership Whitley County
Leadership Whitley County (LWC) is a program of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation, focused on developing servant leaders.  The eight month program consists of sessions delivered by experienced facilitators, which include lively panel discussions, leadership training exercises, group interaction, on-site visits and individual and group projects designed to enhance the community. To learn more about LWC visit www.whitleyedc.com/leadership-whitley-county/.

About Whitley County EDC
The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is the lead economic development agency in Whitley County, Indiana. The EDC works closely with local, regional, and state partners to support our industry clients’ growth and success. Our mission is to lead a comprehensive economic development program that retains and expands employment opportunities for local residents and attracts business investment to Whitley County. The Whitley County EDC was established in 1992 and represents Whitley County, Columbia City, and the Towns of Churubusco, Larwill, and South Whitley. For more information about the EDC, visit: www.whitleyedc.com.


Media Contacts: 
Katie Dewitt (Whitley County EDC) – 260.244.5506 or kdewitt@whitleyedc.com