The deadline to register to be a part of the Leadership Clinton-Sampson class and learn more about what Sampson County has to offer is quickly approaching.
Application deadline is Aug. 21.
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.
“Leadership Clinton-Sampson is a leadership development program organized by the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce,” Chamber of Commerce director Laura Deans 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 Deans, 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, Deans shared, seeks representation from all sectors of the community including business, education, the arts, religion, government and non-profit organizations.
The Chamber began holding the classes in 2004. Each year, approximately 15 participants sign up for the eight-month program. Participants are selected through an application process, which is conducted by the program’s selection committee.
“Leadership potential, community involvement, past accomplishments and recommendations are among the criteria used in the selection process,” Deans said. “The committee is responsible for assuring that Leadership Clinton-Sampson participants reflect the community’s diversity.”
The committee is comprised of a group of dynamic and diverse members. Serving on the committee are Tommy Macon, Faith Jackson, Shawn Purvis, Greg Thornton, Amber Cava, Chuck Spell, Sherrill Allen and Curtis Barwick.
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.
“The participants go to different community aspects for one day each month for eight months,” Deans added.
Participating in the leadership program, Deans said, is a great way to develop leadership characteristics.
“One leadership characteristic is the willingness to give of yourself without necessarily expecting anything in return other than personal satisfaction,” Deans said. “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 … 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.
“I was born and raised in Sampson County and still learned a great deal about the county, and my peers, through this program,” Martin Jackson of First Citizens Bank and a graduate of the program said. “The relationships and networking opportunities created through the leadership program are invaluable, and I feel Leadership Clinton-Sampson is a tremendous opportunity for anyone in the community who wishes to learn more about our county’s history and diversity.”
More than 180 participants have taken part in this opportunity over the years, each taking away something different.
“Leadership Clinton-Sampson opened my eyes to all the diverse opportunities our county offers,” another program graduate said. “I graduated with a better knowledge of the economic, cultural, and social issues our county both faces and embraces. It was a wonderful program and I highly recommend it to any leader in business wishing to learn more about our county.”
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.