The River Bend Growth Association (RBGA) celebrated the completion of its third Leadership Academy recently with 8 graduates.

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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.

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Field trips included visits to the Madison County Administration Building with presentations by county elected officials and department heads and a tour of the Recorder’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 Delfina Dornes of Lewis & Clark Community College said, “This has been a great experience.  I learned a lot about the area and met some great people.  I always left feeling inspired and I know I’ll use this information in my professional and personal life.”

Other participants were Amy Roady of CNB Bank & Trust; Cole McMichael of the Bethalto Police Department; Laura Reed of Cork Tree Creative; Megan Allen of WRB Refining; Ryan Schuler of Illinois American Water; Megan Dittman of America’s Central Port and Sandy Smith of THEBank of Edwardsville.

The RBGA will hold its next Leadership Academy in the fall of 2016 and will make a call for nominations in July of 2016.  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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