Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Learning to lead in Warren

Inaugural class graduates after exploring county

By Cindi Andrews, candrews@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — The inaugural class of Leadership Warren County graduates Wednesday after nine months of surveying all corners of the county, from slogging through prison to soaring through air.

        The Area Progress Council of Warren County, a group of business executives, started the program. The goal is to educate tomorrow's leaders about their community and help them develop their leadership style.

    Applications are being taken for the next Leadership Warren County class, to begin in September. The deadline to apply is June 21. For information, call Director Bill Thornton at 265-0450.
        “There's a real difference between people who have authority and leadership,” said Arla Tannehill, the council's executive director.

        Members call the class a success.

        “It helps you really explore a lot of different avenues and get to know people you wouldn't otherwise,” sheriff's department Maj. Gary Miller said. “It helps you see the other side.”

        Communities surrounding Warren County from Dayton to Cincinnati have long held leadership classes. But the introspective aspects of the Warren program “put it on the cutting edge of how leadership programs across the country are being restructured,” Ms. Tannehill said.

        The next class will enroll 30 members, Leadership Director Bill Thornton said, up from the 26 people graduating this week, and it'll cost $1,500 — $300 more than the first class.

        The syllabus, however, will be much the same as this year's, which included trips to Warren Correctional Institution and the county administration building. The class also trekked to Camp Kern for leadership-building exercises and took plane rides for a different perspective of the county.

        The first class already has produced a political candidate: County Commissioner Mike Kilburn faces a challenge this fall from class member Carolyn Tepe. The Mason resident is director of Help Me Grow, which helps families of at-risk children.

        The class “made me realize the problems weren't just in my social service world,” Mrs. Tepe said. “I think it has motivated all of us to come out from behind the scenes.”

        That's a good thing, Mr. Thornton said: “We want people to do things they hadn't thought about before, and if this is one of those things, that's a positive result of the Leadership Warren County class.”


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