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Leadership class ready for new experiences, new growth
Posted 09 - 24 - 2010

Photo - The 2010-2011 Leadership Nacogdoches group ready to go to Orientation Retreat at SFA Piney Woods Conservation Center. (Photo by Bruce R. Partain)

Leadership class ready for new experiences, new growth

By Kelly Daniel, Membership and Marketing Manager

Playing games, running relay races, riding a zip line and sleeping in bunk beds may seem like summer camp fun, but for a newly formed group of 29 people, these exercises were the beginning of becoming better leaders in the community.

The 2010-2011 Leadership Nacogdoches class returned from the Orientation Retreat held Sept. 10 -11 at Piney Woods Conservation Center in Broaddus with new stories and friendships.

“What I did [at the retreat] was thoroughly frightening, and in the end I was left with a triumphant feeling,” Rebecca Carlton said. “Most of all, I enjoyed getting to know others in the group. I am looking forward to the next nine months.”

The low and high element courses create challenges that illustrate the principles of teamwork. Solving problems together requires people to respect the team, but to also lead by offering individual solutions. Conquering the challenges cooperatively also builds esprit de corps.

The next nine months will offer opportunities for the class to explore Nacogdoches County with field trips and meetings with current leaders. One day each month is set for learning about the county’s history, services for people with disabilities, public education, government and SFASU. In February, the class will travel to Austin for a three-day state government session at the capitol that will include participation in Nacogdoches-SFA Days, Feb. 16 and 17.

Investments of time and money are required of each LN member. The returns can be immeasurable no matter the class member’s profession, age or length of time living in Nacogdoches.

“With each new challenge, there is an equal reward,” Kyle Sanders said. “This new challenge will strengthen my self-confidence, improve my understanding of the community and broaden my community network.”

Leadership Nacogdoches is a program of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce that was created in 1982. At that time chamber President Nancy Speck, Past President Tom Choate and President Elect Barham Fulmer led the steering committee that organized the program. In following years, adjustments were made including moving from an annual to a biennial program.

Now, program co-chairs Paul Smith III and Linda Foshee work together with all the sessions' organizers to give the class the best possible learning experience and continue to produce future community leaders.

Smith said that if someone were to glance at a list of current leaders such as county commissioners, city council, business owners and administrators in education and financial institutions “you would see a list of names of many Leadership Nacogdoches graduates” that proves the program’s worth.

“A very special thank you goes to Jimmy Mize with First Bank & Trust East Texas for providing a scholarship to this class, as well as the 2008-09 class,” Smith said. “Supporting the program in that way sets an excellent example of leadership for more to follow.”

Leadership Nacogdoches co-chairs Linda Foshee and Paul Smith III are proud to introduce the 29-member LN 2010-11 class:

Judy Abbott, SFA James I. Perkins College of Education; Daniel Alders, Charles Pool Real Estate, Inc.; Carol Bostian, Regions Bank; Rebecca Carlton, CASA of Deep East Texas; Randy Coe, Silver Lion Photography; Veronica Ellison, Etech, Inc.; Clay Farell, Nacogdoches Medical Center; Laminta Fowler, Etech, Inc.; Terrence Frazier, SFA Multicultural Center; Dixie Groll; SFA College of Liberal and Applied Arts; Derek Head, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital; Jessica Henderson, Hospice of East Texas; Angie Hermenitt; SFA East Texas Research Center; Meagan Leclaire, Huntington State Bank; Brianna Lewis, Commercial Bank of Texas, N.A.; Maury Littleton, Party 'N Things; Peggy Muckelroy, Nacogdoches Economic Development Corp. (NEDCO); Heather Owens, BancorpSouth Insurance Services, Inc.; Kevin Pace, Huntington State Bank; Paige Pattillo, Nacogdoches County Attorney Office; Jessica Rocha, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital; Grace Romero, Mark A. Randel, MD; Kyle Sanders, University Rental; Rayanne Schmid, The Daily Sentinel; Sherri Skeeters, Nacogdoches Convention & Visitors Bureau; Susan Swearingen, BancorpSouth; Kevin Tomsic, MDDC, Allmed Family Care Center P.A.; Cathy White, Nacogdoches County Board of Realtors; and Jessica Wood, City of Nacogdoches Historic Sites Dept.

The Leadership Nacogdoches session schedule and session photos can be found on the chamber’s Web site,

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