Leadership Oconto County is underway

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Inaugural class has 11 participants
By: 

Warren Bluhm, wbluhm@newmedia-wi.com

An orientation dinner at Beyer Home in Oconto last month marked the opening of the first Leadership Oconto County class.

The inaugural group includes 11 participants from various walks of life, said Paul Ehrfurth, executive director of the Oconto County Economic Development Corp., in his monthly report to the county board.

Leadership Oconto County is a cooperative effort of OCEDC and the University of Wisconsin-Extension of Oconto County. The goal of the leadership program is to build a pool of citizens with broad knowledge of the ideas, issues and concerns faced by local communities.

“We have a nine-person steering committee, and various members of the committee are responsible for planning and organizing and arranging the events for the particular day,” Ehrfurth said.

The first session is scheduled this week in Gillett, led by Dale Mohr, UW-Extension community, natural resources and economic development agent.

Supported by $10,000 in corporate donations, the nine-month program consists of workshops, seminars, discussions and tours, for one day each month.

Each session will focus on an issue in the community and an aspect of leadership development. Practical learning is emphasized, rather than a full day of lectures. Each participant will become involved in a community-based project.

“I’m really excited about this program,” Ehrfurth said. “We’ve worked very hard to put it together. It’s nice to see a nice class full of folks this first time. I’m sure as we build more recognition and credibility, we will have more participants.”

Topics for the nine sessions will include collaborative leadership styles, natural resources, health care and wellness, economic development, diversity, education, state government, local government and community engagement, with the final session also to include a graduation ceremony.