As a reporter for the Banner Graphic, I often get to talk to some of the movers and shakers in the community, as well as those leading our school systems and businesses.
For about the next three months, I will get to learn more about how I can become an influencer, as well as what it takes to promote growth throughout Putnam County.
Tami VanRensselaer, who is the deputy director of the Greencastle/Putnam County Economic Development Center, reached out to the Banner Graphic asking if one of us was interested in participating in the 2020 Putnam County Leadership Academy.
Jared pitched it to me, and I accepted. A scholarship from the development center will cover expenses, in exchange for me devoting some writing about the program. As such, I will be producing a series about what we've been doing as we go along in the academy.
I will be devoting an afternoon a week to be with the academy, and I am enthusiastic to let the community know what it is all about and why it could become an integral component of the development center's mission. If you ask me, I think this is a pretty good trade-off.
Recently, Executive Director Kristin Clary related to the Greencastle City Council that a leadership academy had been hosted in the 1990s. It is important to note that this was around when business in Greencastle was bouncing back after IBM left in 1986.
Thanks to a renewed focus on encouraging local leadership development in variety of fields and businesses, the Putnam County Leadership Academy got the financial boost it needed with a generous grant from the Putnam County Community Foundation.
As a young journalist and as a community member, I am excited to have this opportunity. I will get to interact with leaders like Paul Jedele of McDonald's/Jedele Industries, PCCF Communications Director Neysa Meyer, Jared Grable of Global Construction Management, Greencastle City Councilor Jake Widner and others.
The Putnam County Leadership Academy is getting off the ground with the help of Lynn Ringis, who actually heads the Montgomery County Leadership Academy. I think it is awesome for different development efforts to collaborate in this way.
The group will meet every Wednesday afternoon and focus on topics such as local government, education and nonprofits, and what roles they all play. We will also have an "etiquette dinner" in October and finally hold a graduation ceremony in December.
This is a very basic overview of what the academy is and how I will be involved. Regardless, it is a start of what I hope will be a fruitful exploration about what makes the Greencastle community tick. I also hope to better figure out how we can go out into the rural communities and also encourage their growth and civic participation.
I would like to thank both Tami and Kristin for thinking about our role as Putnam County's newspaper, and for inviting me to have a part in launching this great effort.