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A Bridge to Community Leadership

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July 10, 2018
“Education is all a matter of building bridges,” as expressed by American novelist and scholar, Ralph Ellison. The Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce proudly begins its 34th year of the Leadership Cleveland adult program that provides an educational experience which builds bridges to community leadership. “The application process for the 2018-19 class of the Chamber’s Leadership Cleveland program has officially begun,” shared Chamber executive vice President, Bernadette Douglas. Since its introduction in 1984, more than 470 participants have graduated from the nine-month program.
“Being a lifelong Clevelander, I loved the program,” Richard Burnette, Andrew Johnson Bank, said of at the conclusion of the 2017-18 class experience. “It gave me insights to some areas I had never thought of or seen before.”
The goal of Leadership Cleveland is for participants to develop leadership skills and greater knowledge about Cleveland and Bradley County through a series of one-day sessions and an overnight trip. Topics covered include Education, Public Safety, Law Enforcement, Local Economy, Healthcare, Local and State Government, and Tourism, presented through lectures, discussion, tours, on-site visitations, and informal question-and-answer sessions.
 “Our program is intended to open the minds of participants to the perspectives that surround each issue,” Douglas said. “Through consideration of these perspectives, participants are enabled to become more visionary leaders in our community.” Douglas added that many graduates of the program have gone on to become involved in a variety of aspects of the community, from involvement on Chamber committees and task forces to local government and leadership positions in other volunteer organizations.
“I had no idea just how much Cleveland and Bradley County has to offer,” explained Ellen Dobbs, Easy Auto. “The group of people who were participating were amazing” Dobbs continued, “It was such an eclectic group of professionals. But everyone got along and I felt comfortable with each person in the group. Just an amazing experience!”
The 2018-19 class will run from September 2018 through May 2019. Those interested should call the Chamber at 423-472-6587 for application information.

Photo: 2017-18 Leadership Cleveland class participants shown at Red Clay State Park.
Bernadette Douglas, Executive Vice President

225 Keith St SW
PO Box 2275
Cleveland TN 37320-2275
Phone: 423-472-6587
Fax: 423-472-2019
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

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