February 11, 2014
Chamber expands leadership development programs
Driven by increased demand from the region's businesses and non-profits, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber today announced the addition of two new programs to their highly-successful suite of leadership programming.
Leadership Action and Cincy Next will join the already established brands of Leadership Cincinnati, C-Change, WE Lead and WE Succeed in the Chamber's newly-branded Cincinnati USA Leadership Programs. Leadership Action will feature a highly motivated team of seasoned leaders from various business organizations. They will work together to impact a top priority project to improve our region. Cincy Next is designed for early career professionals (approximate ages 22-30) with eight years or less of professional work experience. The curriculum focuses on professional development topics specific to this experience level and an introduction to community involvement
"The overwhelming message we have received from leading organizations in this region is that developing their talent continues to be a top priority, and they feel that we do it better than anyone," said Jessica Baron, Senior Director of Leadership Initiatives for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. "In recent years, as many companies were cutting back in the wake of the recession, our applications actually increased, so that's a great indication on the value that others place on our mission," she added.
"Businesses know that they're only as good as their talent. Development of their leaders for today and tomorrow is no longer optional, it's essential," said Julia Poston, Office Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP. "The Chamber has proven to have that formula for leadership development success, and that's why time and time again, the business community turns to them," she added.
Leadership Action is an extension of Leadership Cincinnati and is focused completely on designing and executing a single project. The focus of each year's work will be grounded in the community priorities that have already been articulated by the Bold Goals of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Agenda 360 and Vision 2015. The program's mission is to create a space in which a team of the brightest, most promising and passionate business, community and entrepreneurial leaders work together to drive change in the most important sectors of our community.
"From the Crayons to Computers program which is now a national model, to the Cincinnati Free Pharmacy program that changed Ohio law, the projects we touch in Leadership Cincinnati are extremely rewarding, but also very involved," said Dan Hurley, Director, Leadership Cincinnati. "What Leadership Action will allow us to do is to take a group of committed leaders and concentrate solely on a project and move the needle on it, without having the traditional classroom leadership component," he added.
"As a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati, I can attest to the depth of the projects that take place in the program," said Alexandra Shirey, CFO, Champion Windows. "Just one of the projects that I worked on was a feasibility study of shared services between the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Leadership Cincinnati and now Leadership Action are programs focused on proven leaders who are able to drive results and be ready for even bigger challenges in our community in the future," she added.
Cincy Next, like C-Change, is part of the Chamber's HYPE (Harnessing Young Professional Energy) programs. The curriculum will focus on professional development topics specific to early career professionals and includes an introduction to community involvement. Curriculum topics to include: personal branding, effective communication, public speaking, difficult conversations/conflict, goal-setting, generational workforce issues, personal finance, introduction to networking.
"What we have noticed is that leaders are emerging earlier in their careers than ever before and Cincy Next will engage them at a time in their lives where other programs don't," said Julie Bernzott, Manager, HYPE. "Organizations are no longer waiting until later in a person's career to invest in their future, and the need for Cincy Next speaks to that," she added.
"After graduating C-Change, I joined a community of leaders throughout the city who are alumni of the highly regarded leadership programs of the chamber," said Stephen L. Hightower II, Chief Operating Officer, Hightowers Petroleum Company. "I am more connected to Cincinnati than I ever have been with its history, culture and story, and I know other young leaders will find Cincy Next just as rewarding," he added.
Leadership Action is sponsored by The E. W. Scripps Company and HORAN. Leadership Cincinnati is sponsored by First Financial. HYPE programming is Presented by PNC Bank Virtual Wallet, Program Sponsor: Xavier University, MBA Program and Excellence Sponsor: Four Entertainment Group (4EG).