Thirteen working professionals from across Allegany County gathered on Friday, February 2 to celebrate their completion of the Leadership Allegany program.
Hailing from a variety of different fields – from business, to health care, to higher education, and more – they shared a desire to grow in their own skills while also impacting Allegany County.
The Leadership Allegany program provides its students – all professionals in the workforce – with a curriculum focused on improving leadership abilities, networking, and impacting communities in a positive way. Students meet twice a month for the majority of the year. They work in small groups to organize an industry day – providing a detailed ‘inside’ perspective of a county industry – as well as community service projects.
Community service projects this year included a fundraising skate event for Hart Comfort House in Wellsville that raised just over $1,000 in donations for the organization; an essay contest for high school students to win scholarships to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, which prepares students to run their own businesses; a professional clothing donation drive; and more.
The student speaker for the 2018 class was Tara Snyder, vice president at Snow Hill Inc. in Alfred, NY. Reflecting on her experiences as part of Leadership Allegany, Snyder spoke about the importance of individual growth and change. The finality can be scary, said Snyder, encouraging her colleagues to “embrace the process and embrace the seasons” of change, because the outcome is worthwhile. “I believe that this county will change because we’re here,” she added.
Several county legislators were in attendance, including Curt Crandall, Judith Hopkins, Philip Stockin, and David Decker. Lee James represented Tom Reed, U.S. Representative for the 23rd Congressional District of New York.
New York State Senator Catherine Young (R-Olean) was also present, and addressed the graduates about their impact in the county – now and in the future. “You are our strength,” Young remarked. “I believe that you will be the leaders we need to go to the next step and the next level here in Allegany County.”
The Leadership Allegany graduates for 2018 are:
|Melissa Biddle||Community Health Division manager, Ardent Solutions Inc.|
|Kaitlyn Brown||Associate Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, Alfred State College|
|Michelle Denhoff||Planning and Development Specialist, Allegany County|
|Joel Fox||Vice President, Strategic Planning and Practice Management, Jones Memorial Hospital|
|Carl Greene||Member Services Representative, Alco Federal Credit Union|
|Trish Haggerty||Director of Annual Giving, Alfred State College|
|Michelle Hillman||Public Relations and Communications Specialist, Houghton College|
|Heidi Jordan||Senior Social Welfare Examiner, Allegany County Department of Social Services|
|Liana Joslyn||Senior Program Manager of Child Care Services, ACCORD Corporation|
|Halley Kottwitz||Economic Development Associate, Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board|
|Tara Snyder||Vice President, Snow Hill Inc.|
|Jennifer White||Business Owner, White IMPRINTS|
|Claire Worthington||Inn Manager, The Inn at 28|
Leadership Allegany began in 2010 as a joint initiative of Houghton College and the Greater Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, with Alfred State College joining earlier this year as a partner. The program offers a learning environment for those who live, work, or have interest in Allegany County to improve their leadership abilities, network, and impact their communities. Over the last eight years, 103 professionals have graduated from Leadership Allegany. Founding sponsors include Houghton College, Allegany County Area Foundation, Allegany Business Center, ACCORD Corporation, Allegany County Department of Social Services, United Way of Allegany County, Literacy West Inc., and the Alfred Higher Education Group.