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Leadership Ohio Valley kicks off its year

A BEGINNING — Members of the 2022 class of Leadership Ohio Valley began their program Thursday with ice breaker activities and a welcome dinner. Pictured are this year’s participants, in front from left, Melissa Veltri, Jacob Keeney, Tiffany Gale, Sarah Cale, Sammi Giannamore, Rachael Ferrise, and Thomas Grossi, and in back, Amy Granato, Tiffany Frohnapfel, Lorie Terry, Nick Travis, Melinda Howell, Chris Krishak and Penny Hamilton. -- Craig Howell

WEIRTON — Fourteen members of the local business community began their journey into leadership Thursday evening.

The members of the Class of 2022 of Leadership Ohio Valley, organized through the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, gathered at Undo’s in Weirton Thursday to take the first steps of the program, with ice breaker activities and a welcome dinner.

“Our class this year is going to be an interesting one,” Chamber President Brenda Mull said, pointing to the group’s differing backgrounds and experiences.

This year’s class includes people who work in fields such as tourism, education, childcare, accounting, healthcare, government, industry, business development and catering.

Members of the Class of 2022 for Leadership Ohio Valley are: Sarah Cale, Top of WV CVB; Rachael Ferrise, West Virginia Northern Community College; Tiffany Frohnapfel, Eastern Gateway Community College; Tiffany Gale, Miss Tiffany’s Early Childhood Education House; Sammi Giannamore, SM Magnone CPA; Amy Granato, Weirton Madonna High School; Thomas Grossi, Weirton Geriatric Center; Penny Hamilton, Giometti Catering; Melinda Howell, who is sponsoring herself; Jacob Keeney, Business Development Corp.; Chris Krishak, City of Weirton; Lorie Terry, Crown Holdings Inc.; Nick Travis, Rotary Club of Weirton Heights; and Melissa Veltri, Starvaggi Industries.

Mull encouraged each of them to consider the qualities of leadership, to learn from each other and to get out of their comfort zone while going through the program.

“I guarantee you will learn a lot and get a lot out of it,” she said. “Like anything else, you get out what you put into it.”

The kickoff activities continue today with a SIMSOC, or simulated society, exercise.

“SIMSOC is unique,” Mull said, explaining Leadership Ohio Valley is, as far as she knows, the only local program which offers the exercise.

She said the activity will provide life lessons and offer an opportunity to see different perspectives on life.

“It will have an impact on you. It did for me,” Mull said, referring to her own time in the Leadership program as part of the 2007 class.

Other programs, to continue through the next several months, will be themed around the areas of health and human services; government; education; history and culture; and business and economic development. Each session will be planned by the class, with guidance from community advisors and class coordinators Brandon Palmeri and Sarah Farran, both Leadership Ohio Valley graduates.

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

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