WEIRTON - The Weirton community has a fresh crop of new leaders following the completion of this year's Leadership Weirton program Tuesday.
Leadership Weirton is an annual program held by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce to encourage area business representatives to become more involved in the community.
The program began in January, following a curriculum of six sessions focused on a variety of topics, and concluded Tuesday with a dinner at Williams Country Club.
This year's class and their sponsors included Rick Antol, Weirton Area Ambulance and Rescue Squad; William Beaumont, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort; Kate Cook, Weirton Medical Center; Patricia Farnella, Weirton Geriatric Center; James Honick Jr., Fairfield Inn and Suites; Nino Karas, Serbian American Cultural Center; Cindy Kotsch, The Weirton Daily Times/Herald-Star; Thomas Maher Jr., City of Weirton; Ed Recznik, United Bank; Karen Simpson, Hancock County Savings Bank; and Bettie Wade, the Hancock County Commission.
Chamber President Brenda Mull congratulated the class, encouraging them to reflect on their time together and use their experiences and the knowledge they have gained as they work to create a vision for the future of their business and their community.
"Managers have their eyes on the bottom line," Mull said. "Leaders have their eyes set on the horizon."
LEADERS — This year’s Leadership Weirton class includes, in front from left, Karen Simpson, Patricia Farnella, Kate Cook, Cindy Kotsch and Bettie Wade, and in back, Ed Recznik, Nino Karas, Rick Antol, James Honick Jr., Thomas Maher Jr. and William Beaumont. -- Craig Howell
Mull noted the contribution the class already has made in assisting with upgrades and renovations to Weirton's community Christmas lights, which will be on display throughout the holiday season.
Mike Koon, vice president of workforce development and the Weirton campus dean of West Virginia Northern Community College, said there are many types of leaders, whether they be found in sports, politics or simply in the local neighborhood.
"There are a lot of different concepts about leadership," he said, noting a quote from President Dwight Eisenhower, who said. "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."
Koon explained leaders have a vision, good communication skills and are able to build trust, while also leading by example and empowering those who follow them in the hopes they will become leaders themselves.
As part of the Leadership Weirton program, the class had to take part in six sessions focused on areas such as government, education, history and culture, and business and economic development.
They also had to plan and implement a community service project and volunteer at least six hours with an organization of their choosing.
Class coordinators, who are previous Leadership Weirton graduates, were Stephanie McVicker, Kellie Morrow and Eric Zaney. Session advisors included Carole Scheerbaum, Tracy Lemley, Dan Greathouse, Jolene Zuros, Wayne Neely, Pam Makricosta and Patrick Ford.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)