Leadership Clinton-Sampson has worked over the last decade to develop creative leaders throughout Sampson County with hopes of developing the leaders’ knowledge of the community by providing participants with the opportunity to learn more about Sampson County.
The registration deadline for those who are interested in participating and being a part of the next Leadership Clinton-Sampson class is quickly approaching. Application deadline is Aug. 19. Space is limited to 10 participants and there is a participation fee.
“Leadership Clinton-Sampson is a leadership development program organized by the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce,” Chamber of Commerce director Kaitlin Norris said. “The eight-month program is designed to provide leaders broad exposure to issues and opportunities facing Sampson County, as well as meet our need for the active involvement of diverse, informed and responsible community leaders.”
According to Norris, the mission of Leadership Clinton-Sampson is to provide a continuous, diverse supply of creative leaders to the county by developing their knowledge of the community and by providing them with the opportunity for meaningful action. Leadership Clinton-Sampson, Norris shared, seeks representation from all sectors of the community including business, education, the arts, religion, government and non-profit organizations.
Classes begin in September and end in April, with graduation from the program held in May. As part of the program, participants are exposed to topics such as agriculture, education, economic development, health and human services, criminal justice and state and local government. Monthly excursions to different locations are held each month.
The Chamber began holding the classes in 2004. Each year, participants are selected through an application process, which is conducted by the program’s selection committee and Norris said participation is great way for individuals to gain a general knowledge of the community.
“Leadership potential, community involvement, past accomplishments and recommendations are among the criteria used in the selection process,” Norris said. “The committee is responsible for assuring that Leadership Clinton-Sampson participants reflect the community’s diversity.”
Participating in the leadership program, Norris said, is a great way to develop leadership characteristics.
According to Norris, one leadership characteristic is the willingness to give of yourself without necessarily expecting anything in return other than personal satisfaction.
“As leaders you know, that by giving of your time, knowledge and experience over and above what is expected, whether it be in your job, in school, as a member of a civic organization, as a church member, as a volunteer to aid others, or in serving on the Chamber board, as a Chamber ambassador, on a Chamber committee, on a county or municipal committee or board, or if you run for an elected office,” Norris continued, “you are helping others and contributing to the quality of life of this community, making it a better place to live, work and raise children.”
Alumni of the program only have good things to say about their experiences.
“The Sampson County adult Chamber leadership class was an excellent experience,” Faith Jackson, community liaison with Clinton City Schools, said. “Anyone that is in Sampson County could benefit from the relationships built, and the multiple locations visited each month. I am so honored to have had the opportunity to participate. The information provided was interesting and informative of how and why Sampson County is such an awesome place to work and live.”
More than 185 participants have taken part in this opportunity over the years, each taking away something different.
“The one thing all our participants can take away is a greater knowledge of what this community has to offer,” Norris added. “Many people are aware of the strong agriculture base we have right here in Sampson County, but they aren’t aware of the other great aspects. Participants also have a chance at networking opportunities and making connections with other industries.”
The Chamber is currently accepting applications for the next class of Leadership Clinton-Sampson which starts in September. If interested, call the Chamber office, at 910-592-6177. Visit www.clintonsampsonchamber.org for more information.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.