Every two years, the Jersey County Business Association (JCBA) offers the Leadership in Action (LIA) program to encourage citizens to take on leadership positions in Jersey County. Heneghan and Associates (HA) sent Laura Dabbs, Kevin Gunterman and Anne Wieneke to this program, and they reported back with a better understanding of Jersey County and the ways we can collaborate to solve any issues our community faces.
“We like to look at it as not only the future of the company, but the future of the community,” Kevin, a surveyor-in-training, said. LIA strengthens bonds between citizens and encourages them to work together when advocating for solutions. Over the course of seven sessions, local experts spoke to participants about the relationships between Jersey County organizations, including the education, healthcare and agriculture sectors.
A lot of these conversations sounded familiar to Laura, Kevin and Anne. HA works directly with many of the LIA participants and presenters. The program gave us the chance to see our work from the perspectives of our clients and colleagues. “It’s cool seeing our end versus the owners and the city,” Kevin said. “All of those projects they were showing us are sitting on my desk.” We got a better picture of what’s happening behind the scenes and how our services impact Jersey County.
HA has sponsored several employees since the program’s inception. Laura, our administrative technician, was excited for her chance to attend. She especially enjoyed learning about the Jersey Community School District, where her son is in middle school, as well as the upcoming expansions to the Jersey Community Hospital.
“We’re an expanding community, a thriving community, and to know that they’re bringing more services here that you don’t have to drive all the way to St. Louis to take advantage of, that was exciting,” Laura said. She thinks that younger employees, like our accountant, Anne, will benefit from the networking opportunities offered by LIA. The program encourages this new generation to step up in the workplace and the community, and we are confident they will do so.
Armed with new information about our colleagues and neighbors, HA is excited to take on bigger roles in Jersey County. “We’ve talked about it [at HA] and I think that taking the class was a push to get more involved. That was a first tiny step in the right direction,” Kevin said. “Leadership in Action is not teaching you leadership. It’s making you try to become a leader on your own.”