August 12, 2015
Leadership NOW – an intensive, year-long leadership development program – is underway with an inaugural class of 11 high-potential leaders who live and/or work Genesee County.
Over the next 10 months, the program will provide one-one-one executive coaching as well as group learning sessions covering building and managing a diverse team; creating and implementing a vision; developing followership; following through; and achieving results.
Leadership NOW is collaborative partnership of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Genesee County, and goes far beyond lessons in theory, according to George Wilkinson, Group Vice President at the Chamber.
“The participants are expected to put what they learn into practice,” Wilkinson said. “They have been tasked with developing and initiating a sustainable, collaborative project that will strengthen the community. We’re glad to be in the position to help them achieve their goals.”
The inaugural class:
Merinda Brisbane, Durand, is a Private Bank Relationship Associate for FirstMerit Bank in Flint. She serves as a board member for the Flint & Genesee Young Professionals, committee chair for Adopt-A-Family and breakfast judge for Priority Children. She has a Bachelor of Arts in history and English as well as a Master of Business Administration, all from the University of Michigan-Flint.
Raymond Curtin, Davison, is President of CDC Corporation in Burton. He serves as a board member for Goodwill Industries and Mott Community College Foundation. He is also chairman of the Richfield Township Planning Commission. Curtin has a bachelor’s degree in industrial administration from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) and a Juris Doctorate from Cooley Law School.
Patrick Haley, Flushing, is Treasurer of Mt. Morris Township. He was elected in 2012 to serve a four-year term.
Alexandria Harris, Burton, is Assistant Director of Events and Community Engagement at the Crim Fitness Foundation in Flint. She has an associate degree in social science from Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Va. and a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and planning from the University of Michigan-Flint.
Karena Hamlet, Flint, is the Business Development Manager at the Flint & Genesee Chamber. She is affiliated with the Michigan Economic Developers Association. She has an associate’s degree in business management and a Bachelor of Business Administration, both from Baker College of Flint.
Wendy Johnson, Flint, is the Principal of WSJ Consulting. She has served as a board director for local organizations including the Stockton Center at Spring Grove, Genesys Regional Medical Center and Metawanenee Hills Neighborhood Association. Johnson has a Bachelor of Science in community health and biology from Western Kentucky University’s School of Public Health.
Pharlon Randle, Flint, is the Owner and Manager of Folla Me LLC/Bangtown Mobile Studio. He is also the Executive Director of Bangtown – Studio On The GO, which teaches youth about the principles of music, songwriting and video production.
Christy Rivette, Grand Blanc, is the Program Coordinator II for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan in Flint. She serves as the secretary for the Society for Public Health Education’s Great Lakes Chapter. She has a Bachelor of Arts in exercise science from Hope College and a Master of Science in health science from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.
Richard Russell Jr.
Richard Russell Jr., Davison, is the Special Projects Coordinator at University of Michigan-Flint. He has been involved with several community organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Flint and Smart Teachers as Role Models (STAR). Russell has an Associate of Arts from Mott Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in English and social studies from the University of Michigan-Flint, an educational specialist degree from the University of Michigan-Flint, and a master’s degree in elementary education from Marygrove College.
Sounya Walker, Flint, is the Director of Mott Community College’s Gateway to College Program & Adult Education. She is involved with several local organizations, including the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, YWCA of Greater Flint and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Flint. Walker has a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, a Master of Arts in communication and a Specialist of Arts in educational leadership, all from Eastern Michigan University. She also has a Doctorate of Philosophy in education from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minn.
Jennifer Walters, Flint, is Operations Director for Comfort Keepers in Burton. She has a bachelor’s degree in management and organizational development from Spring Arbor University and will receive a Master in Business Administration from Spring Arbor in August.