Leadership Southcoast Program Launched

LEADERSHIP SOUTHCOAST PROGRAM LAUNCHED BY LOCAL BUSINESS LEADERS Over 30 local business leaders along with the greater Fall River and New Bedford Chambers of Commerce have joined together to organize a leadership program designed to help individuals interested in serving on boards and committees.

Over 30 local business leaders along with the greater Fall River and New Bedford Chambers of Commerce have joined together to organize a leadership program designed to help individuals interested in serving on boards and committees. 

"As a graduate of Leadership Buffalo, I'm thrilled to take part in launching Leadership SouthCoast," said Slade Ferry Bank President and CEO Mary Lynn D. Lenz. Lenz is chairman of the Steering Committee and Slade's Ferry is a corporate founder of the new organization. "Creating Leadership SouthCoast is a positive step that we, as business leaders, are taking to foster emerging leadership and sustainable economic growth in our own backyard." 

Leadership SouthCoast (LSC) is a new non-profit organization with a mission to organize and design a leadership development program to advance continuous improvement in the SouthCoast of Massachusetts. The organization is focused and driven by the Steering Committee of veteran community leaders committed to improve the quality of life in the SouthCoast area. They recognize that by expanding a continuous source of diverse leaders who, as community trustees can participate in boards and committees, this program can provide a great benefit to the region. 

"Working and learning together, participants in this program enhance their leadership skills, capacities and attitudes while they broaden their understanding of community issues," noted Dr. Tony Vieira, Executive Director of Corporate Programs and Partnerships at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. "Hospitals, universities, social organizations, arts councils, service organizations, and numerous boards and committees all benefit from knowledgeable, responsible, visionary, and accountable community leadership," Dr. Vieira explained. 

Although this program will be new to the SouthCoast with it first class scheduled for this fall, similar programs have proven very successfully nationally. Leadership Rhode Island has been running for 23 years, and there are notable programs in Buffalo, Charlotte, San Diego, and San Antonio to name a few. There is also a national Community Leadership Association that was organized in 1979 in which many of the local organizations participate. Leadership SouthCoast is a member of the national association. 

Attorney James Litsey from Partridge Snow and Hahn LLP in New Bedford, is a graduate of the Rhode Island program and a big advocate of LSC. "I have personally experienced the benefits of such a program and would I recommend it," Litsey stated. "It will give existing business and community leaders a fresh perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing their communities." 

Some programs differ in emphasis, but the Community Leadership Association encourages sharing and mutual learning by its members and embraces the diversity of community leadership development efforts. Leadership SouthCoast is a broad-based organization representing the cities of Fall River and New Bedford as well as the surrounding towns on the SouthCoast. 

The Leadership SouthCoast program will encourage emerging leaders from the area to join together and broaden their understanding of the impact of their decisions on the SouthCoast and its future. Through mutual learning participants will be able to embrace the diversity of community development efforts. 

A two-day retreat will kick off the program in September followed by nine full-day monthly sessions. Applications are available on line at leadershipsouthcoast.org or by contacting Nancy Vanasse at 508-999-8778 or Dr. Tony Vieira at 508-999-8744. 


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