Jeremy Wattles, assistant director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning, recently completed the Finger Lakes leadership program through the Geneva Chamber of Commerce.
The eight-month program is geared toward developing professionals in the Geneva area while focusing on a variety of community issues such as healthcare, human services, government, education, agriculture, economic and community development, and tourism. Using these topics as a backdrop, participants are introduced to various leadership methods and applications through different workshops.
The program is unique in the sense that it grants the participants an opportunity to connect with several sectors of the City while constructing or enhancing relationships with those in the Geneva area.
“My job is all about relationships,” explains Wattles. “Throughout the course of the program I got to know a lot of people in Geneva and in the area. Meeting and talking with these people really gives you a sense of how all the different sectors knit together in our community.”
One of the key features of the program is that participants brainstorm ideas for a community-related project. The group then chooses one of these project ideas and begins to design and implement it within the community. This year, Wattles and the other participants voted on the creation of a new informational kiosk to be installed near Long Pier on the Geneva lakefront. The kiosk will be a welcome point for visitors traveling to Geneva and the Finger Lakes region.
Wattles began the program last September and concluded at the end of June with a graduation ceremony held at the Ramada on the lakefront.