Wheeling Chamber Graduates Leadership, Youth Programs

The Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce recently graduated the 2018 Leadership Wheeling and Youth Leadership Wheeling programs.

Leadership Wheeling, which began this year on Jan. 9 was comprised of 19 area professionals representing many different business sectors in the community. This was the 32nd graduating class of the successful program, which is designed to expand leadership potential by providing an increased awareness of community opportunities, individual leadership skills and networks among other business leaders.

“This year’s class was very inspired with the opportunities that were presented at each session,” said Lisa Goodnight, marketing and special events coordinator and program facilitator for the chamber.

Weekly sessions focused on a range of topics including team building, history, governmental affairs, education, health care, community involvement, culture and the arts and economic development. The group toured several local establishments and also traveled to Charleston where they sat in on a legislative session and met with many state representatives.

Participants in the 2018 Adult Leadership Class included: David Crumm/Ohio County Schools; Clint Derrow/Team Sledd; Matt Drahos/BB&T; Lisa Goodnight/Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce; Sarah Griffith/WesBanco Bank; Lori Horvath/Wheeling Park Commission; Wendy Hodorowski/The Health Plan; Lee Lytle/Oglebay Resort; Cherish McKinley/Russell Nesbitt; Thom Minamyer/WesBanco Bank; Valerie Ogilbee/The Health Plan; Justin Pastorius/Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston; Valerie Piko/RED Partnership; Liz Richter/West Liberty University; Jessica Rine/The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley; Eric Timmons/WesBanco Bank; Lynn Wallace/Russell Nesbitt; Alex Weld/Wheeling Heritage; and Casey Wynn/Steptoe & Johnson.

The 2018 Youth Leadership Wheeling group was made up of 44 high school juniors from six area schools. The group included students from Bellaire, Cameron, John Marshall, Linsly, Wheeling Central Catholic and Wheeling Park.

“Youth Leadership is a community-based program that implements leadership activities, designed to spark the interest of the young students to possibly remain in, or return to, our community,” Goodnight said.

Similar to the Adult Leadership itinerary, the program consisted of presentations, tours and hands-on activities which exposed students to the community resources of the area. The group also had the opportunity to tour the Northern Regional Correctional Facility.

“The jail tour is by far the students’ favorite activity. They were able to hear the testimonies of two inmates, both serving life sentences, advising the consequences of poor decisions. It was a very impactful experience,” Goodnight added.

Chamber Chairman of the Board Andy McKenzie, along with Chamber President Erikka Storch and Goodnight presented the students with graduation certificates during a dinner event held earlier.

For information on the 2019 Leadership Wheeling or Youth Leadership Wheeling programs, call the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce at 304-233-2575.