Leadership Patrick County graduates its third class

Leadership Patrick County, sponsored by the Reynolds Homestead and the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce, is an innovative program designed to develop the leadership potential of adults in the county, while also expanding their understanding of the issues, challenges, and opportunities found here.
The program identifies emerging leaders, or those interested in simply learning more about the workings of Patrick County, and broadens their perspectives on civic leadership and community issues through direct interaction with community leaders and agencies in the area.
Five local participants completed the program this year, which included visits to each community in the county, where they met with school officials, local entrepreneurs, larger businesses, tourism and historic sites. Also included in the program were professional development sessions such as the Myers-Briggs Type Personality Inventory, a Multi-Generational Workforce session, and visits with county, town and state governmental officials.
To culminate the program, Sarah Wray, Reynolds Homestead’s assistant program coordinator, led the group through the Low Ropes Challenge Course.
A highlight of the nine-month program was a visit to Richmond with Homestead director Julie Walters Steele to meet with members of the Reynolds family, and to visit the Virginia General Assembly in session and spend time with Delegate Charles Poindexter and State Senator Bill Stanley.
Members of the third graduating class were Heidi Moore, physical education teacher and volleyball coach at Patrick County High School; Jason Vipperman, sponsored by Vipperman Air Conditioning; Michael Gravely, owner of Outdoor Entertainment; Adam Birkett, sales manager for Ten Oaks, LLC; and Terri Alt, family and consumer sciences agent for the Patrick County Extension Office.
“Participants were able to learn more about the issues and challenges facing businesses, schools, government and civic organizations—but they also were able to see some of the front-line innovation and technology driving many of our local organizations,” said Lisa Martin, senior program manager at the Reynolds Homestead. “And from the needs identified, each participant developed and completed a community service project.”
Graduation was held at the Reynolds Homestead in late May, with members of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, local business owners, and graduates’ family members in attendance. After the dinner in their honor, graduates were treated to a talk by Senator Stanley, who congratulated them on participating in such a valuable learning experience, and encouraged them to “be the change” that makes the county, the state, and the country stronger.
Tim Collins, executive director of the chamber of commerce, also noted that “Every citizen in the county that has a concern about the future of our community and its direction should participate in the program.”
Graduates were presented with framed certificates of completion, and Frank Fox, manager of Nancy’s Candy in Meadows of Dan, had boxes of truffles for each one as well.
Registration for the 2016-17 Leadership Patrick County program will begin in August; anyone interested in participating should contact Lisa Martin at the Reynolds Homestead. Tuition to Leadership Patrick County is $125 for Patrick County chamber members or $150 for non-members. The tuition covers all materials, some meals, and all travel.

Pictured (left to right) are: Brian Barnes (PC Chamber), Frank Fox (Nancy’s Candy), Lisa Martin (Reynolds Homestead), Tim Collins (PC Chamber), Jason Vipperman, Heidi Moore, Michael Gravely, Terri Alt, Adam Birkett, Sarah Wray (Reynolds Homestead), Sen. Bill Stanley, and Julie Walters Steele (Reynolds Homestead).
Pictured (left to right) are: Brian Barnes (PC Chamber), Frank Fox (Nancy’s Candy), Lisa Martin (Reynolds Homestead), Tim Collins (PC Chamber), Jason Vipperman, Heidi Moore, Michael Gravely, Terri Alt, Adam Birkett, Sarah Wray (Reynolds Homestead), Sen. Bill Stanley, and Julie Walters Steele (Reynolds Homestead).
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