Leadership Blount County, entering its 10th year of operation is designed, according to its mission statement, “to identify, prepare, and build leadership resources by bringing individuals together to discuss the present and future direction of the county and prepare them for involvement through volunteer roles in the community.” The Blount County embodiment of the statewide program was founded by former Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce executive director Charles Carr, and is considered by many to be one of his signal contributions to the civic life of the county.
The program prepares participants by educating them in the operation of the county’s major leadership institutions, presented usually by those providing current direction. Sessions are held on the third Thursday of each month from October 2014, through June 2015, generally during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m for each session.
Included are presentations on the educational, economic, law enforcement, legal, community services, and state and local government institutions of the county, as well as presentations on its leadership and history .
The program brings together a class of leaders from a wide diversity of backgrounds. Participants may be young or old, male or female, and of any cultural background. The program does not take policy positions or serve as an advocacy group for any cause. It is not a leadership training class, as such. Rather it attempts to enhance the capabilities of individuals who have already shown themselves as leaders in one segment of the community or another. Emphasis is on understanding the workings of present institutions, working together, and developing relationships within and outside the class itself.
Those interested in signing up for the class should contact Aimee Wilson at the Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce at 274-2153 to request an application. The class will remain open until the start date of Oct. 23, or until the full complement of spaces is filled. A tuition fee of $250 covers all expenses, such as lunches and transportation (including a trip to Montgomery), asssociated with the program.