By David Rogers. March 3, 2017. BLOWING ROCK, NC — With team-building exercises and introductory material, 13 Blowing Rock business and civic leaders and future leaders met with facilitators on Friday at the Blowing Rock Conference Center, kicking off the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Leadership Challenge.
Offered every other year (the “odd” years), Leadership Challenge is an opportunity for participants to gain working knowledge about the intricacies of living in and doing business in Blowing Rock, covering subjects ranging from Blowing Rock history, to how the town government works, where the water and sewage treatment facilities are, how the fire department is organized and what challenges they face, what and where are area attractions, and so much more.
Along with other alumni of the program, including Jessica Smith (Marriott Courtyard), Rich Scheurer (Green Park Inn), Billy Chick (Edward Jones & Co.), Melissa Pickett (Blowing Rock Inn), as well as Chamber board members Don Hubble and Jim McDowell, Blowing Rock News joined the Class of 2017 for lunch on Friday.
It is on local and even hyper-local levels that your leadership roles can truly make a difference.
Dr. Jim Street, professor of leadership education and the Director of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership at Appalachian State University served as facilitator for Friday’s introductory session, stressing the importance of individuals to become engaged in the communities in which they live and work.
Hubble, the former senior executive chief executive officer and chief operating officer for two different publicly traded corporations, including one Fortune 500 company, spoke to the participants about leadership on different levels and the challenges that leaders face. He also put the immediacy of the participants’ potential or current community involvement into perspective when he explained that making heads or tails out of the global situation is difficult at best and there is very little any of them could do about it anyway. He added that the national situation is the same, that they may have a voice but most couldn’t really do much about it one way or another. Hubble continued that they might be more effective on the state level, but it is on the local and even hyper-local levels where their involvement in leadership roles can truly make a difference.
Jim McDowell, with his wife the owner of Mountainaire Inn and Log Cabins in Blowing Rock, was introduced as a Chamber board member and chairman of the Entrepreneurship Development Committee. In addition, it was pointed out to the group that McDowell was the 2017 recipient of the Chamber’s “Volunteer of the Year Award.” McDowell smiled and said, “It is really humbling to be singled out, because there are so many volunteers that do incredible work for the Chamber.”
This year’s participants include:
|Participant||Company or Organization|
|Melissa Tausche||Heartland Payment Systems|
|Rhonda Presnell||Blowing Rock Country Club|
|Bailey Kinsman||Blue Ridge Mountain Club|
|Emily Brinker||The Northgate Group|
|Sharon Criman||Sunset & Vine|
|Margaret Hilton||The Blowing Rock|
|Loni Miller||Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce|
|Kelly Cox||Westglow Resort|
|Tony Anthony||VPC Builders|
|Jonathan Smith||Blowing Rock Art & History Museum|
|Chris Wetmore||Blue Ridge Mountain Club|
|Joseph Andrew||Chetola Mountain Resort & Spa|