Leadership group meets emergency response, mental health leaders

Members of the Lee County Leadership Academy meet with county emergency officials at the Baxter's Sports Complex on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC.


Lee County Leadership held its 9th and final session on Tuesday, March 21 at the Baxter’s Sports Complex in Fort Madison. The focus of the session was How to Mobilize Resources and Move Into Action. Participants spent the morning discussing individual leadership roles, community power structures, SMART goals and action planning.

The program facilitators are utilizing curriculum from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. It is a modular and interactive community leadership program based on cutting-edge research on community leadership (as opposed to individual, business or organizational leadership). Lee County was the first county in Iowa to utilize this specific approach to leadership development by piloting the program with the LCL Class of 2016.

In the afternoon, participants hosted a panel discussion regarding crime & safety in Lee County. Panelists were: Steve Cirinna of Lee County Emergency Management, Tim Sittig Chief of The Fort Madison Police Department, Bill Young of Lee County EMS & the Donnellson Fire Department, and Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber. A second panel discussion regarding Mental Health and Addiction services featured Nicolas Foss of ADDs, Leslie Lindner of Juvenile Court Services, Ryann Wood of Lee County Community Services, Mike Mayer of Counseling Associates, and Shelly Marshall of Keokuk Area Hospital. The panel discussions provide an interactive opportunity for the participants to gain understanding of community, assets, challenges, resources, and to forge networks and connections with other leaders within the community.

In addition to gaining knowledge in community leadership, participants are using their learned skills to implement projects for the betterment of communities in Lee County. Area nonprofits submitted project proposals, which were evaluated and selected by the steering committee. The community projects that the Lee County Leadership Class of 2017 are working to benefit are: KPlay, The Friends of Keokuk Public Library and SCC Night Hawk Program. The day wrapped up with the participants giving updates on their respective community leadership projects.

The Lee County Leadership Program is a partnership between the Fort Madison Area Chamber of Commerce, Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. It is also supported by a steering committee with representatives from the Lee County Health Department, Fort Madison Partners, Lee County Charitable Fund, Keokuk Area Community Foundation, Southeastern Community College, and Alliant Energy. The program is sponsored in part by Alliant Energy and Keokuk Area Community Foundation. Applications to participate in the 2018 Lee County Leadership program will be available soon.

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