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Looking for leadership

JULIE SUTORsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Julie Sutor Frisco Mayor Bernie Zurbriggen, left, and Mountain Managers owner Eric Gill are helping to organize Leadership Summit, a nine-month community leadership development course for Summit County locals.
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SUMMIT COUNTY – A group of Summit County citizens is searching for those with the courage to lead.Representatives from the local nonprofit community, private sector and local government are teaming up to launch a community leadership education program that will give Summit County’s current and future leaders the skills and resources they need.”No community can prosper without leaders, and this program will provide an opportunity for future leaders to develop their talents,” said Jay Bauer, a local attorney and Rotarian who has been involved in the program’s creation.Through Leadership Summit, 17 participants representing a broad cross section of the community will explore topics such as leadership styles, effective communication, team-building, health care, education, environment and economic growth during a two-day retreat this fall, followed by a series of monthly, single-day seminars.Leadership Summit students will also develop and implement a group project that addresses a local issue or need.”The class project will be really significant,” said Frisco Mayor Bernie Zurbriggen, another of the program’s organizers. “People will have to collaborate and agree on the project. And at the end, they will have accomplished something they can be proud of that will be beneficial to the community.”

Several other communities in Colorado, including Denver, Pueblo and Jefferson County have leadership training programs, according to Zurbriggen. Leadership Summit will tailor its offering to give participants an up-close introduction to local issues and institutions from the U.S. Forest Service to the tourism industry to the gamut of Summit’s educational resources, local governments and nonprofit organizations.”Like any kind of education, this is a substitute for trial and error,” Zurbriggen said. “I’ve been at this for 15 years, and I still learn something new every day.”Organizers are designing the program to meet the needs of seasoned leaders like Zurbriggen as well as newcomers and up-and-comers.”This is for everyone – the person who’s 25 and the person who’s 65,” said Eric Gill, owner of Mountain Managers. “We’re trying to get different cultures and genders, private sector and nonprofit representatives.”Gill attended a similar training in Evergreen several years ago and has been active in helping to organize Leadership Summit, which included a three-day pilot in October.”I thought it was really helpful on many levels,” said Jocelyn Mills, senior planner for the town of Frisco. “It was nice to have a mix of established leaders and younger folks.”

Mills said the program’s training on effective communication has been especially helpful to her work in the town’s planning department, where she leads community projects that incorporate a wide range of differing opinions from throughout the community.”People who live in this community need this program, and they’re going to get a lot out of it. It would take years to learn all this on your own, but we have it all in one class,” Gill said. Applications for Leadership Summit are available online at http://www.leadershipsummitcolorado.org. Applicants must mail completed forms by July 15.Leadership Summit is supported by Summit Rotary, The Summit Foundation, the Keystone Center, Colorado Mountain College and the Summit County Chamber.Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 203 or jsutor@summitdaily.com.



Leadership SummitWhat: A nine-month course for current and future leaders in Summit County’s private sector, nonprofit community and local government.When: Participants will convene for a two-day retreat in September and meet one day per month through May, 2006.Application deadline: July 15, 2005Tuition: $750 (scholarships may be available)To apply: Visit http://www.leadershipsummitcolorado.org to obtain an application.


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