Thursday, February 5, 2009
Leadership Marshall 2009
By AMY S. HEATON
Twenty-one business and community leaders from Marshall County gathered at Kirkwood Golf Course and Cottages for a two-day retreat January 22-23 to kick off the 2009 Leadership Marshall Class.
Leadership Marshall is an intensive six-month program developed as a result of the Marshall County Strategic Plan and coordinated by the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce, Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce, MSU Extension Service and Marshall County Board of Supervisors. The ultimate goal of Leadership Marshall is to provide Marshall County with lifelong leaders with the skills and commitment to lead our county into the future.
Following a hot breakfast sponsored by First State Bank, participants boarded a bus provided by Marshall County School District and began a tour of Marshall County. The group enjoyed seeing beautiful Chewalla Lake and the Marshall County countryside as Larry Hall, county administrator, provided information about past, present, and future developments in the county.
Participants were welcomed for a rest stop at the Potts Camp Town Hall and learned about the heritage of the Hill Country Blues Picnic held annually there.
Eddie Malone, along with Lisa Cole, Ms. Martha, and Joan Fitch, prepared a mouth-watering lunch for the participants at Fitch Farms/Galena Plantation with food items donated by Carlisle’s Big Star, Holly Springs Piggly Wiggly and Cousins’ Shell. Joan Fitch presented a historical tour of the lodge and original home of Nathan Bedford Forrest.
From there, the tour highlighted Cedar Oaks Plantation, Moore’s Plantation, and the Watson and Warsaw communities before arriving in Byhalia. Mayor Scooter Dempsey encouraged the participants in their leadership efforts as they explored the historic Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce.
The bus proceeded through Barton and Mount Pleasant to the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, where the class stopped to enjoy the natural beauty of our area.
For the final stop in Holly Springs, Mayor Andre’ DeBerry greeted the 2009 Leadership Marshall Class and provided an overview of the city. Stephanie Movre, executive director of the Holly Springs Bureau of Tourism and Recreation, and Amy S. Heaton, executive director of the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce, provided a guided tour of Holly Springs’ businesses and attractions.
The participants returned to Kirkwood to learn about effective time management in a presentation by Linda Mitchell, MSU Extension professor, 4-H Youth Development. Prioritizing and focus were noted to be the keys to successful time management.
A three-course meal was sponsored by Marshall County Industrial Development Authority, and executive director Bill Mobley joined the group to talk about plans for Marshall County.
Social hour began at 7 p.m. and included a surprisingly competitive game of dominoes, karoaoke by Movre, and an impromptu late night trip to visit Holly Springs’ own Graceland Too!
The second day of the retreat, First State Bank representatives, including president Sam McClatchy and vice president Jim Crell, joined the group for breakfast sponsored by their organization. Martha Jackson Banks, MSU Extension professor, 4-H youth development, presented the morning session on “Managing Groups for Results.”
Following lunch sponsored by Northcentral Electric, Banks presented the second half of her session, educating the participants for “Finding Leaders Within.”
Leadership Marshall alumni joined this year’s class in the late afternoon to focus on community group projects. Chance McDavid informed the class about First Impressions, an organization that helps communities assess and identify their assets. Kerry Reid, Byhalia Middle School principal, brought a group of students from Byhalia Middle School to discuss a youth leadership program. Alumni and the 2009 class would facilitate these projects as part of the Leadership Marshall curriculum.
“Janet (Jolley), Amy (Heaton), Larry (Hall) and I are excited to work with the fifth Class for Leadership Marshall,” Sawyer said. “This program is one that can change attitudes, lives and perspective. A participant will get out of it what they put into it. We can’t monitor that part, we just provide the venue.
“We truly appreciate the media, sponsorships, the employers and the participants themselves. Without this support, the Leadership Marshall would not be possible. It could grow and touch many stakeholders in Marshall County, making a positive impact. We must focus on the positives Marshall County has to offer.”
The first monthly meeting of the Leadership Marshall Class of 2009 will be Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Collins-Hurdle VFW Post in Holly Springs. Lunch will be provided by the VFW and A2Z Sign and Print Shoppe.
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