Fifteen people set out to become more involved in the local community Wednesday by participating in Leadership Wheeling 2013.
The program held its introductory meeting at the Ohio Valley Medical Center Nurses' Residence. It is sponsored by the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber President Terry Sterling noted Leadership Wheeling started in 1987. Since that time, he said, more than 600 individuals have taken part.
Photo by Art Limann
Members of the 2013 Leadership Wheeling class are, from left front, Mark Maguire, Sherry Grimm, Susan Nolte, Amanda Cummings, Lindsey Davis, Deborah Roxby and Mary Coffman. Back row from left are Josh Contraguerro, Samantha Winter, Allison O’Konski, Brian Breyer, Martin Galloway and David DeFranco. Not pictured are Theresa O’Brien and Alicen Railing.
"One of the most unbelievable things about it is that since it began, approximately 70 percent of the graduates still live or are working in the Ohio Valley," he said.
"The program is designed to equip the participants with local resources, including community leaders and elected officials to get them more involved with the community, enhancing their individual leadership styles and skills, and developing a leadership network," he added.
Chamber board Chairwoman Erikka Storch told the group, "This is a fantastic opportunity."
Leadership Wheeling brings together individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences from all sectors of the Wheeling Metropolitan Area. Participants are selected through an application process.
Sessions will include a history of the Ohio Valley, leadership training, education, culture, leisure and the arts, local government affairs, entrepreneurial achievement, the legal system, media, health care, financial planning, local economic development and state government and community development. A tour of a local coal mine is also planned.