Lead Now’s Fifth Cohort graduates following Capstone project supporting local nonprofit

FLINT — On Dec. 12, 14 area professionals celebrated their completion of Lead Now Flint & Genesee, formerly known as Leadership NOW. They represent the fifth cohort to graduate from the intensive leadership development program offered through the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s been just over a year since these professionals first made the commitment to become more effective leaders,” said Steven Elkins, director of member services at the Flint & Genesee Chamber. “Since then, they have participated in leadership assessments, monthly trainings and oneon one coaching sessions focused on building their leadership strengths. And as they move forward, they do so better prepared to address the challenges and opportunities that may arise in their workplaces and communities.”

According to Elkins, a major component of the Lead Now curriculum is its emphasis on experiential learning—completed in part through a capstone project. Each cohort is tasked with executing a sustainable, collaborative project that positively impacts the community.

For the 2019 group, members opted to increase community awareness around NAMI Genesee County, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. To do this, the team worked with the nonprofit’s board of directors to bolster its fundraising, marketing/ communications, operations and volunteer recruitment efforts.

“Being able to apply the skills we learned in a realworld setting—not just in theory—brought the experience full circle,” said Tietricha Thomas, Lead Now graduate and project manager for the NAMI partnership. “We didn’t have to wait until after the program to get started. Instead, we were able to use utilize our strengths and work on our development areas together during program.”

Additionally, many of the cohort members found the program helpful in building connections in Flint and Genesee County.

“Our cohort was comprised of individuals from various backgrounds who may not have crossed paths otherwise,” said Bermicia Parks, a graduate of the 2019 cohort. “Lead Now provided us an opportunity to learn not only about each other but also about some of the many services and resources available within our community.”

The 2019 graduating cohort includes the following nonprofit and business professionals who work and/ or live in Genesee County:

Gina DeShong (Mt. Morris), Information & Assistance Partner, The Disability Network

Nicholas Goldsworthy (Fenton), Attorney, Witt & Howard, PLLC

Cam Herth (Davison), Chief Administrator, Louhelen Bahá’í Center of

Learning

Elizabeth Herth (Davison), National Statistics Officer, Bahá’í National Center

Sandra Johnson (Flint), Project Manager, Hamilton Community Health Network

Izzi Joseph (Lapeer), Communications & Public Relations Specialist, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce

Jennie Main (Grand Blanc), Engagement Specialist, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce

Christina Mitchell (Swartz Creek), Administrator, Vista Springs Trillium Village

Bermicia Parks (Flint), Business Intelligence Systems Analyst, Mott Community College

Kelly Price (Flint), Administrator, McFarlan Home

Sarah Scheitler (Flint), Corridor Alliance Manager, Flint River Watershed Coalition

Tiffany Stone (Grand Blanc), Medicaid Policy Deputy Director, Michigan Association of Health Plans

Tietricha Thomas (Grand Blanc), Director of Spirit Programs, Spring Arbor University

Kaneesha Wallace (Canton), Project Manager, Michigan Medicine

Details: Visit flintandgenesee.org or call 810-600-1404.