(FLINT, Mich., Dec. 6, 2017) – Leadership NOW’s third cohort today celebrated their completion of the intensive leadership development program, offered through the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Genesee County.

Over the last year, the cohort has participated in more than 100 hours of training and one-on-one coaching, focused on honing personal leadership styles and developing effective partnerships.

“Today, Leadership NOW welcomes 18 outstanding professionals to its alumni group,” said Michelle Hill, Director of Core Initiatives and Shared Services, Flint & Genesee Chamber. “These individuals join a network of collaborators who share a common language around leadership, and are prepared to work together to address challenges and pursue opportunities in the community.”

During the celebration ceremony, held this afternoon at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc, the cohort shared their plans for a sustainable, collaborative community project – a requirement for completing the program.

Specifically, the cohort developed a strategy to expand the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Flint’s horticulture program by utilizing an existing hoop house garden to plant, grow and harvest food for club members and their families. The core of this plan is a curriculum that engages children in learning about nutrition; planting and harvesting their own food; and learning to cook healthy meals with the food they've grown.

“Leadership NOW participants join the program because they want to learn how to improve Genesee County through their leadership,” said Jenni Dones, Program Manager, BEST Project at United Way of Genesee County. “We teach them how to do this in theory and through practice.”

Tiffiny L. Griffin, Vice President of Programs, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, had been working in Flint for just a few short months when she began Leadership NOW. She said that the experience taught her a great deal about Flint and Genesee County, and is now seeking to join the boards of some local nonprofits.

“I am part of this community now,” Griffin said.  “I want to be part of everything that happens here.”

In addition to Griffin, the graduating cohort includes the following nonprofit and business professionals who work and/or live in Genesee County:

  • Miya Banks, Data Manager, Food Bank of Eastern Michigan
  • Shavonta Crawford, SABIS Education Systems, Inc.
  • Michael Czop, Senior VP/Chief Commercial Officer, TIDI Products, LLC
  • Steven Elkins, Member Services Director, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
  • Jamie Florida, Healthy Start Evaluation Consultant, Genesee County Health Department
  • Rachel Johnson, Director of Development & Sexual Assault Services, YWCA of Greater Flint
  • Lynette Kaiser, Nutrition Program Instructor, MSU Extension
  • Art Mance, Team Leader, Morley Companies
  • Nicole Mason, Director of Human-Resources-North America, Chem-Trend Limited Partnership
  • Jasmine McKenney, Senior PTAC Counselor, Region 6 PTAC
  • Caitie O'Neil, Marketing Manager, Sloan*Longway
  • Shakya Pea, , Executive Administrator, Loving Hands Adult Day Health Club
  • Tom Roark, Senior Director, Diplomat
  • Jessica L. Robinson, Community School Director, Eisenhower Elementary
  • Stacie Scherman, Vice President, Flint Distributing Co.
  • Shearese Nekail Stapleton, Early Childhood Parent Support, Cummings Elementary School
  • Tom Travis, PSP Director, Carriage Town Ministries

For more information about Leadership NOW, which will launch its fourth cohort in January, visit flintandgenesee.org or call (810) 600-1404.