Last updated: August 27. 2013 2:46AM - 90 Views

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The Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce is still looking for adult applicants for its 2013 Leadership Sedalia Team.

According to Steering Committee Chair John Dawes, so far there have only been three adults who have applied for the program, which promotes involvement in the community, leadership skills and networking opportunities.

“We’ve been trying to promote it more, we certainly want to see all the spots filled if possible,” Dawes said. “The program not only lets you learn about the community but you also have opportunities to network with your classmates and work on a class project that benefits the community. It really is a great opportunity.”

Sedalia resident Bea Warder agreed. Last year, Warder decided to take part in Leadership, despite being retired and not affiliated with a company or organization.

“I have fairly recently moved back to Sedalia and I wanted to get involved, but I wasn’t quite sure what would be the best fit for me,” she said. “So I thought about Leadership Sedalia and I can tell you, I’m so glad I did it. Not only are you learning about the community and the businesses we have here, you learn about yourself too.”

Warder said she was especially impressed by the information about the number of social service agencies that serve the Sedalia and Pettis County area and learning about area businesses.

“One thing that really stuck out to me were the tours,” she said. “And more than that, when we did the tours we were often speaking to the CEO of the company, so you really got to know the people in charge of these major industries in Sedalia.”

Dawes said the eight-month program includes a two day intensive Leadership challenge conference held at State Fair Community College that is specifically for adult applicants, but the community project is what many Leadership ‘alums’ talk about. Last year saw the Leadership class create and implement historical signage in downtown Sedalia; this year’s class took on the redesign of the “pink caboose” on the Missouri State Fairgrounds.

“I really enjoyed the project,” Warder said. “We split up into groups to each tackle a different aspect and I really had fun getting to know my group and spending time with them. I met people, and students too, who I would have maybe never met before. And it was such a worthwhile project, you really felt like you were doing something to better the community.”

Both Dawes and Warder noted the class cost — at $700 per applicant — may be a bit steep, but it was worth it.

“Some companies pay for their employees to go, but since it was just me doing this I obviously paid on my own,” Warder said. “But it was worth it. Twice the money would have been worth it. I learned so much about myself and my community, I don’t even think about the cost for a moment.”

“Leadership really is a great program and a great asset for anyone in our community,” Dawes said. “I recommend it to everyone and I hope we start seeing some more applications come in soon.”

The deadline to apply for Leadership Sedalia is Aug. 1. For more information, call 826-2222 or go to sedaliachamber.com.

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