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Leadership Ohio Valley kicks off the year

Twelve representatives of the local business community are part of this year's class of Leadership Ohio Valley. The class began their program year with ice breaker activities and a dinner Friday, followed by their first session Saturday. -- Craig Howell

WEIRTON — A dozen individuals from local communities set off on a journey this weekend, as the 2019-2020 class of Leadership Ohio Valley gathered to begin their program year.

The class of 12, representing area businesses, social organizations and municipalities, came together for the first time Friday, for ice breaker activities and dinner at Undo’s in Weirton.

Organized each year by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Ohio Valley is designed to teach participants more about their area, while helping them to discover more about themselves and each other, and encourage them to become more involved in their community.

“This is the 27th year we’ve had a Leadership class,” chamber President Brenda Mull noted.

The class, and their sponsors, include Kristin Bissett, Weir High School; Brandon Palmeri, City of Weirton; Sarah Farran, City of Weirton; Lt. Gene Hunt, Weirton Heights Rotary; Rain Lucas, Apollo Restoration; Anthony Forte, Apollo Restoration; Terri Phillips, Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau; Kelly Wohnhas, Howard Hanna; Duane Frazier, Weirton Medical Center; Amira Taylor, Amira’s Angels Home Care; Chris Smalley, Acuity Specialty Hospital; and Justin Brown, Lombardi Development.

“We’ve all got a little bit of leadership in us,” Mull said, in welcoming the class, explaining, however, that people don’t always know how to use those skills.

Leadership Ohio Valley, she said, will be an opportunity to better understand their skills and how to harness them, how to work as a team and contribute more to their cities and businesses.

The class will be tasked with planning and holding a series of monthly sessions, focusing on areas such as government, education, healthcare, business and history. They also must volunteer with local groups or events and organize a group project to benefit the community.

Mull encouraged each of them to be active in the process and find ways to contribute in order to get the full experience of the Leadership program.

“Be involved,” she said. “You get out of it what you put into it.”

The weekend continued with the class’ first session Saturday at Christ United Methodist Church.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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