When Joy Saucier, Mississippi Power community development representative, began facilitating the Leadership Kemper program in 2010, the plan was to one day pass the baton to local leaders to manage the future of the course.
With the graduation of the fourth class in 2014, her mission is accomplished.
“The highlight of this year’s class is that the Kemper County Economic Development Authority (EDA) is assuming leadership of this development program,” Saucier said. “That is a testament to the leadership capacity we are helping to grow in Kemper County.”
The 2014 class of Leadership Kemper featured 15 graduates who live or work in Kemper County. They dedicated one day per month for the past eight months to focus on leadership skills.
For their community project, the class installed lighting at the stage area of the Barney Brown Senior Citizens Center.
Community members, made up of recent graduates of the program, served on the steering committee and planned each monthly session.
“The citizens of Kemper County have really embraced this program,” Saucier added. “The EDA coordinates logistics and provides general oversight while I assist with leadership skill building at the request of the steering committee. It’s all aimed at better equipping Kemper residents and helping the county move forward.”
Craig Hitt, Executive Director of Kemper Co. EDA, called the program “a very positive opportunity for our community.”
Hitt continued, “We are grateful to Joy and Mississippi Power for their support in getting this program started. We look forward to continuing our partnership each year as we offer leadership training to the citizens of Kemper County.”
The Montgomery Institute in Meridian also led sessions of this year’s program.