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St. Lawrence Leadership Institute recruiting for latest class

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CANTON – The St. Lawrence Leadership Institute is recruiting for the class of 2014-2015, according to Pat McKeown, president of SLLI and executive director of the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, parent organization of the Institute.

There are only 25 slots available for the upcoming class.

The program is a 10-month series, open to any resident with an interest in learning about the important challenges facing St. Lawrence County, improving leadership skills, and gaining access to a diverse network of other community leaders. Classes are held from 4-8 p.m. the second Thursday of each month from September through May at a variety of venues across the county.

An important first step to the program is a candid assessment of one’s own leadership style, with its advantages and disadvantages. In addition, each month class members discuss a current public policy with county-wide impact. Topics range from agriculture to technology, from economic development to the environment, and from healthcare and public safety to education and the arts. The third part of each session involves specific leadership skills, like developing sound editorial positions, group dynamics, and public speaking.

“My membership in the class of 2012 provided a great reflection of myself as a leader and the needs of the county,” said Ruth A. Doyle, assistant to the Administrator for St. Lawrence County government. “The sessions demonstrated a valuable understanding of the economy, government and organizations within the county and revealed to us how integrated all systems are. The Institute also provided many opportunities for me to determine what kind of leader I can be; the class as a whole evolved to a greater level of awareness and fostered an initiative to work toward a better St. Lawrence County.”

Founded in 1993, SLLI’s mission continues “to foster the development and engagement of emerging and existing leaders for the advancement of St. Lawrence County community. The scope and relevance of the program make it a valuable experience for lifelong residents or those employed in St. Lawrence County as well as newcomers to this area.

More than 400 county residents have completed the program. Alumni of the Institute work in small businesses and major industries, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, government and the non-profit sector.

Tuition is $550 and includes all course materials for the 10 sessions, graduation dinner, and meals at the monthly classes. An additional non-refundable application fee of $25 can be waived if applicant is recommended by an alumnus. Many employers are eager to provide the program to up-and-coming leaders; ask for information from your employer. Tuition assistance is also available thanks to generous support from the Sweetgrass Foundation, the Development Authority of the North Country, the United Way and SLLI alumni.

SLLI is a function of the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and operated by a volunteer Board of Directors: Robert Zimmerman, manager of Dining Services, St. Lawrence University; Suzanne Casaday, insurance manager and membership coordinator, St. Lawrence County Chamber; Ted Ritzko, Clarkson University, retired; Tammy Beaudin, director of Public Relations and Fundraising, Cerebral Palsy Assn. of the North Country/Community Health Center; Alison Power, marketing director, St. Lawrence County Chamber; Brenda Papineau, director, Community Partnerships, St. Lawrence University; Bill Dashnaw, president of Dashnaw’s Budget Services, Inc.; Jo Ann Roberts, events coordinator, St. Lawrence County Chamber; Beth Yenchko, project specialist for Interiors, Lowe’s, Potsdam; Doyle and McKeown.

For more information about the St. Lawrence Leadership Institute, contact any one of the Board of Directors, visit the website www.northcountryguide.com/slli and follow SLLI on Facebook. Early admission deadline is June 1, 2014; space permitting, additional applications accepted until Aug. 1.

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