Leaders made, not (necessarily) born in Blowing Rock

Leaders made, not (necessarily) born in Blowing Rock
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By David Rogers. March 1, 2019. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Throughout history, leaders have emerged in all walks of life. And leaders have different “styles.”

Some have been transformational leaders, such as Steve Jobs, while others have been spiritual leaders, such Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Still others evolved as leaders that can only be described as “infamous,” deriving power from the threat of punishment to any who might disagree out loud. Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein come to mind.

If the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce has anything to say about it, we won’t see the latter type of leaders, at least locally.

With team-building exercises and introductory material, 14 Blowing Rock business and civic leaders, as well as future leaders met with facilitators on Friday at the Blowing Rock Conference Center, kicking off the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Leadership Challenge.

The 2019 class of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Leadership Challenge had lunch with previous Challenge alumni at Blowing Rock Conference Center, in the middle of Friday’s opening session. Photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News.

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, as well as sessions focusing on the six building blocks of economic development: civic infrastructure, business development, workforce development, physical infrastructure, cultural infrastructure, and social infrastructure.

The program is co-managed this year by Charles Hardin and Don Hubble along with assistance from many of the alums of prior year’s programs. The teambuilding and leadership development will be conducted by Michael Misenheimer, Lead Facilitator, Blue Ridge Learning Centers. “Mizey” as an experienced corporate trainer and group facilitator led the group through various exercises in team building, individual leadership reflection and other activities during the retreat.

Participants in the 2019 Leadership Challenge include Charles Wofford, Chasity Stephens, Keith Shockley, Jim Zellner, Ronnie Mark, Paulette Mitchell, Joyce Zellner, Katy Reisterer, Ali Borchardt, Rachel Stewart, Briana Bowling, Sarah Goff, Erica Brinker, and Tammy Bentley.

The Blowing Rock Leadership Challenge is working to help these participants gain a realistic understanding of how the community works and help create an awareness of local current interests. Graduates are challenged to apply their talents throughout the community by becoming a part of community organizations, including public boards, nonprofit groups, and civic organizations.

About The Author

As Editor and Publisher of Blowing Rock News, David Rogers has chosen a second professional career instead of retirement. For more than 35 years, he served in the financial services industry, principally in institutional equity research. He grew up in the oilfields north of Bakersfield, California and was a high school English major and honors student. From an economically disadvantaged family background, he worked his way through college (on grounds crew and in dining hall, as well as advertising sales for college newspapers), attending Johnston College at the University of Redlands, Claremont McKenna College, and California State University, Bakersfield. Other jobs to pay for college included a Teamsters Union job in South Central Los Angeles, a roustabout in the central California oilfields, and moving sprinkler pipe and hoeing weeds in the cotton fields west of Bakersfield. Rogers' financial services industry career took him from Bakersfield to La Jolla and San Diego, then to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Charlotte before arriving in the High Country in 2000 to take a volunteer position coaching the rugby team at Appalachian State University and write independent stock market research. He spent three years as a senior financial writer for a global financial PR firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Tel Aviv, and Frankfort (Germany). Rogers is the author of "The 90% Solution: Higher Returns, Less Risk" (2006, John Wiley & Co., New York). He is married to wife Kim (Jenkins Realtors), and shares in the joy provided by her three grown children and five grandchildren.

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