Center, Upon graduation, the 2014 Leadership Franklin County class poses for a group photo in front of the All Saints Chapel on the campus of the University of the South, Sewanee. (Photo collage courtesy of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce)
Eighteen high school juniors met the 20 adult members of the 2015 Leadership Franklin County Class for the first time during the event’s orientation at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Sept. 23.
Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Judy Taylor said the orientation is a social mixer where the class participants get their first opportunity to meet and become acquainted.
“We started the orientation with what I would call a ‘social exercise,’ in which we have the class members pair up - two class members sitting next to each other - for a brief interview, each person providing the other individual with three facts, like where they’re from, what they do professionally and a hobby or interest,” Taylor said. “However, as a sort of icebreaker, we have the participants include one false statement about themselves in those three interview answers.”
John Jackson, a real estate agent with Remax Mountain Views Realty, spoke highly of the leadership class and what it enables all of the participants to gain from the special interactive environment the class provides.
“The leadership FC class is the perfect vehicle for learning about the inner workings of both business and local government,” Jackson said. “The mixture of both young and older students allows for collaboration which is unique in today’s society.”
He added, “In our orientation meeting, I was most surprised to learn that nearly 500 individuals had completed the leadership course over the last 18 years. In fact, many of today’s local leaders are graduates of the course.”
Regarding the importance of the leadership class, Taylor emphasized, “One of our goals with this annual class is to encourage a mentoring relationship between the high school students and the adults in the class. It is more than just learning the nuts and bolts of how our community works, it is also very much about forging mentoring relationships that we hope will extend beyond the class’s graduation date in February of 2015.”
The annual FC Leadership Class covers a range of topics, including leadership skills, Franklin County history and education, local government, economic and community development, courts and public safety, community needs and services and state government.
The program is for adults who work or live in Franklin County and for juniors who attend school in Franklin County. In addition to the orientation, Leadership Franklin County consists of a retreat in September and five topic-oriented day-long sessions from September to February, with graduation in February.
For additional information on Leadership Franklin County and the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce (FCCC), contact the FCCC staff at 931-967-9788 or communicate via the organization’s email address,