The River Bend Growth Association (RBGA) celebrated the completion of its third Leadership Academy recently with 13 graduates.

The nine month program included presentations from local business and political leaders and exercises in public speaking and communication enhancement.  Lewis & Clark Community College’s Corporate & Community Workforce director Kathy Willis conducted sessions I-Speak® and Emotional Intelligence.

Additionally sessions included information on the area’s transportation network by industry leaders Dave Miller of St. Louis Regional Airport, SJ Morrison of MCT as well as speakers from the barge industry.  Both public and private school administrators spoke to the group about the changes they’ve made and issues they’re experiencing.  Other subject matter included healthcare, healthcare reform, media, tourism and area industry.

Field trips included visits to the Madison County Administration Building with presentations by county elected officials and department heads and a tour of the jail and the Sheriff’s department.  In April the Academy went to Springfield to see state legislators in action and where they also were able to meet with lobbyists and legislators.

In addition to the interesting and educational presentations, the participants networked among themselves and forged lasting relationships both within and outside of their own career tracks.  Participant Darrell McDowell of TheBank of Edwardsville said, “I found every meeting to be very worthwhile and enjoyable.  I highly recommend the program to anyone who would like to broaden their knowledge of the River Bend.”

Other participants were Laura McMormick, Alton Rehabilitation & Nursing Center; Matt Liebheit, Liberty Bank; Carrie Cope, Imaging Center of Alton; Kris Tharp, Madison County Sheriff’s Office; Allan Largen, Regions Bank; Chad Woodman, Woodman Collision Center; Nick Werts, Werts Welding & Tank Service; Alex St. Peters, St. Peters Hardware & Rental; Craig Gamrath, CNB Bank; Andy Lamer, Alton YWCA; Cody Buttry-Hinkle, Beverly Farm and Justin Kleinschmidt of  Sheppard, Morgan & Schwaab, Inc.

The RBGA will be accepting nominations for participants for the 2013-2014 Leadership Academy in July.  Nominees should be between the ages of 21 and 40 and be up and coming employees in the businesses in which they work.  For more information about Leadership Academy, contact Monica Bristow at 618-467-2280.

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