Leadership Montcalm names new executive director


By Daily News • Last Updated 10:29 pm on Friday, July 06, 2012

Leslie Wood

STANTON — The Leadership Montcalm Executive Committee has named Leslie Wood as executive director.

John Johansen, chairman of the Executive Committee, said he was very pleased that Wood accepted the position.

“Leslie’s prior experience, community knowledge and leadership skills makes her well qualified for the position,” Johansen said. “She will continue and carry forward the strength and reputation of the Leadership Montcalm Program.”

Johansen said he was grateful for the leadership that prior executive director Brenda Greenhoe had provided for Leadership Montcalm.

Recently retired from Montcalm Community College after 12.5 years and certified as a business solutions professional with a master of arts degree in organizational communication, Wood is owner of LAWood Consulting. She has lived in the area 40 years and for more than 28 years she worked at Gibson’s/Electrolux.

“I am so excited to be selected for this position,” Wood said. “I was in the very first Leadership Montcalm class and loved it. I learned so much and made many valuable connections with key people in the area. I have lived and worked in the greater Montcalm community my entire lifetime. What an honor to be involved in giving back to it through this special program.”

Leadership Montcalm is preparing for Series XIII to begin in September and is taking participant applications. The one-day-a-month training program that incorporates both critical issues education and leadership skills starts in September and runs through May. While the program itself is not unique to Montcalm County, the issues and topics are entirely local. Leadership Montcalm is the answer for anyone interested in looking to improve leadership skills, study the issues affecting Montcalm County and learn about our community’s resources.

No nine-month series of Leadership Montcalm is exactly the same. Each series changes and adapts to current issues concerning the county and in response to the feedback from participants. The monthly sessions include a countywide bus tour, a day on education and workforce, health and human services, government, economic development and land use, public safety and a trip to Lansing. The subject matter for each day is presented by local and other experts in their field.

Sponsorships and support by local businesses and civic organizations make it possible to maintain a low tuition ($300 before Aug. 1, $325 after that date.) Tuition includes the costs of the nine sessions, all lunches, two bus trips and two banquets. Recent sponsors have included Chemical Bank West, Montcalm Area Intermediate School District, Montcalm Townships Association, Isabella Bank, Montcalm Community College, West Central Health Federation, United Solar Ovonic, Judge Suzanne Hoseth-Kreeger, Stafford Media Solutions and Montcalm Center for Behavioral Health. Each session is planned, organized, and led by volunteer graduates of earlier sessions.

An important part of each Leadership Montcalm series is the participants. Each participant brings important and unique knowledge, questions and concerns. Each participant shares this knowledge and raises questions. Each participant carries away a source book of information and a network of contacts also interested in solving Montcalm County issues. Because the participants are such a value to the program, applications are reviewed to assure each series has a wide variety of ages, occupations and representatives from across the county.

Due to space restrictions at many of the session locations, the number of participants is limited.  While newcomers to the area can benefit immensely from the program, participants who have spent their entire life in the area always express excitement at what they learn during the series.

“It always tickled me that lifelong residents are the most vocal about appreciating the program and come away from each session saying, ‘I didn’t know that!’” said Linda Ferguson, Leadership Montcalm Executive Committee secretary and past executive director.

For  more information or to obtain an application for Series XIII, of Leadership Montcalm  visit “Hot Topics” at www.Montcalm.org or call Wood at (616) 54-8412 or email her at leslie@lawood.net.

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