The Roundup -

Chamber Leadership Program


Even though their leadership classes are apart based on years, Libby Berndt and Kali Godfrey each value the experiences gained through the Sidney Area Leadership Program through the Sidney Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture. Berndt, marketing director for Reynolds Market, remembers that her introduction to the leadership program came when she was working as the Sidney Herald office manager and then publisher Rick Schneider received a letter regarding the program. "He got the letter and pulled me into the office," Berndt said. "What was really nice was that he went over the letter with me. Basically he said he felt I could benefit from the program and I was capable of moving up in the office." Berndt was a graduate of the 2000 leadership class, which was the second class for the program.

"Rick saw potential in me and felt I would benefit from the program," Berndt said.

When Berndt later became publisher at the Sidney Herald, the lessons learned from the leadership program were very beneficial to her. "It gave me more confidence that I can do this," Berndt said.

Godfrey, who is a member of the 2020 leadership class, also thanks an employer for her introduction to the program. Judy LaPan, administrator at the Richland County Health Department, nominated Godfrey for the program. "I thought it was awesome," Godfrey said of the program. "I learned a lot about how to use community resources."

Godfrey strongly encourages others to consider being a member of a leadership class.

"The skills development really opened my eyes to the different types of leaders in our own community," Godfrey said.

After completion of the program, Godfrey plans to continue being involved with the Sidney Chamber. She is a member of the Sunrise Festival of the Arts Committee and also wants to be involved with the Parade of Lights. Berndt has been a member of the leadership program's task force for several years and is excited about some of the changes that the program is making including reducing hours so leadership days will now last from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Applications are now being accepted for the 2019-2020 Sidney Area Leadership Program through the Sidney Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture. Founded in 1998, the program is designed to develop the leadership potential within our community. The leadership program brings together individuals of diverse backgrounds and experiences with demonstrated talent and commitment. The program offers these selected individuals a unique opportunity to explore the resources of the community and the impact of social and economic change on the Sidney area. Tuition is $250 per participant or $200 for Chamber members. Deadline to turn in an application is July 26. Forms are available at the Sidney Chamber office or Participants are encouraged to ask their employer to sponsor their tuition fees in return for the skills and knowledge they will bring back to the workplace. Participants are welcome from all aspects of business, manufacturing, government, non-profit, retail and social services industries.

Topics on Issue Days will include agriculture, business, education, energy, government, health and human services and tourism. The seven Issue Days take place between September and April. Class participants will also learn during two or three Skills Development Sessions and other enrichment activities. During the second year of the program, participants will coordinate one of the seven Issue Days.


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