Article in Bowling Green Area Chamber NewsletterJessica M.L. Thompson - Marketing and Communications Director
BOWLING GREEN, KY-The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated the graduation of the 2011 Leadership Bowling Green class last night at a ceremony at the Holiday Inn University Plaza. More than 75 people were in attendance at the event. Bowling Green Technical College’s Chief Student Affairs Office Dr. Gerald Napoles was among twenty-seven community leaders completing the eight-month Leadership Bowling Green program this year. Eric St. John, CCIM of Neal Turner Realty was president of this year's Leadership Bowling Green class. He said, "This year's class has enjoyed learning about our community, which is the goal of Leadership Bowling Green. But our experiences go far beyond visiting different businesses and organizations. We've learned firsthand what it takes to be a leader here, and we've bonded as a class to help each other succeed." Leadership Bowling Green provides insight into many aspects of the community, examining the strengths, weaknesses and challenges residents face. Chamber Board of Directors Chairman Rodney Rogers said, "Leadership Bowling Green is one of the Chamber's most popular programs each year. We're honored that so many of our partners find this program valuable, and we congratulate the 2011 class for an outstanding year. We also thank our volunteer chair and co-chair, as well as the many day chair volunteers for making this program a success." John Ross Copeland, property manager for Chandler Property Management, served as the chair of the 2011 program, working with co-chair Tamara Vogler, BB&T vice president and certified center lender, to lead the class through eight months of community tours, team-building activities and philanthropic efforts. Copeland said, "This year's class has been a joy to work. Each member is energetic and has a commitment to giving back to Bowling Green and South Central Kentucky. Their completion of this program is worthy of celebration, and I'm honored to have been a part of this year's program." Each year, the Leadership Bowling Green class raises money for a special cause to give back to the community. This year, the class sold raffle tickets for a variety of prizes and then donated the funds to The Center for Courageous Kids in Scottsville, Ky. This not-for-profit corporation was founded in October 2004 to respond to the expanding needs of therapeutic camps for children with chronic diseases in Kentucky, Tennessee, and the surrounding states. It is a world-class medical camping facility providing free and memorable camping experiences for children with life threatening diseases and disabilities. Graduates of the 2011 Leadership Bowling Green class are: • Nancy Becker, Housing Authority of Bowling Green • JB Bridgeman, JB Electric, LLC • Brad Brown, U.S. Bank • Jonathan Bryant, Coldwell Banker-Legacy Real Estate Group • Shelley Chatfield, English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP • Patrick Coleman, Carr, Riggs, & Ingram, LLC • Kelly Davidson, Citizens First • Sherri Emberton, Scotty's Contracting & Stone, LLC • Lee Fowlkes, Bethany Christian Services • Sherri Goldsmith, Commonwealth Health Corporation • Erin Howell, Individual Chamber Partner • Alecia Johnson, Barren River Area Development District • Brandon Jones, Edmonton State Bank • Olivia Kirn, BB&T • Elizabeth Leftwich, Western Kentucky University • Chris McIntyre, Warren County Board of Education • Darren Mexic, Debra L. Broz, Attorney at Law • June Nakoski, Service One Credit Union • Gerald Napoles, Bowling Green Technical College • Sarah Rascoe, Daymar College • Chappell Schardein, Houchens Insurance Group • Eric St. John, Neal Turner Realty • Betsy Ann Tracy, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service • Guy Waggoner, II, Kentucky Trust Company • Kristy Watt, Bellewood Presbyterian Homes • Christopher Whitfield, Harned, Bachert & McGehee, PSC • Adam Yates, Briggs, Kelly, Yates and Associates of Ameriprise Financial Additionally, two members of the 2010 Leadership Bowling Green Class received their diplomas: Marissa Butler of the Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and Mark Maier of English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP. During the graduation ceremony, Adam Yates was named the 2011 Bart Hagerman Leadership Award winner. The entire class selects the winner of this prestigious award, which is named for Bart Hagerman, who served as the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce's chamber executive from 1983 to 1986. Hagerman initiated the first leadership program for Chamber members in Kentucky while he worked as the assistant chamber executive at the Ashland (Ky.) Chamber of Commerce; that program became known as Leadership Ashland. He brought the program to Bowling Green when he accepted the chamber executive position, and he selected the first Leadership Bowling Green class in 1984. After graduation, LBG participants are encouraged to join the Leadership Bowling Green Alumni Association (LBGAA). This organization allows alumni to continue to enhance their leadership skills and to remain involved in the Bowling Green community. Information about the LBGAA can be accessed by calling 270-781-8392. Leadership Bowling Green applications will be available January 3 online at www.bgchamber.com and are due January 31 by the close of business (4:30 p.m. CST). For more information, contact the Chamber at 270-781-3200.