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Leadership Niagara honors first binational class

by jmaloni

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Fri, Dec 12th 2014 05:20 pm

Leadership Niagara recognized 38 regional leaders at a graduation ceremony at the Historic Riviera Theatre. Graduates successfully completed the organization's 12-month leadership development program.

"Thirty years ago, a group of visionaries created a plan for an organization they dreamed would have a great impact on WNY. Today, over 1,400 alumni, board members, class members, speakers and mentors have been able to take that visionary plan for Leadership Niagara and deliver a world-class and nationally award-winning leadership development program, which trains leaders to take on the work of transformation, innovation and inspiration." said Executive Director Molly Anderson.

The Class of 2014 is Leadership Niagara's largest and first binational class, with members from Canada, Pennsylvania and Buffalo, including:

  • Christopher Aikin, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Michele-Elise Burnett, Town of Niagara on the Lake War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee
  • Lori Caccamise, Niagara University
  • Megan Calero, 914th Airlift Wing
  • T. Michael Carter, Orleans Niagara BOCES
  • Ryan Coate, Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls
  • Julie Davis, Astronics Corporation
  • Johnny Destino, Orleans Niagara BOCES
  • Dan DiMillo, First Niagara Bank
  • Stephanie Donovan, Walsh Duffield Companies Inc.
  • Robert Drake, M&T Bank
  • Pamela Fekete, Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp
  • Andrea Gray, Community Missions
  • Richard Gunn, Calamar
  • Jodie Hodge, First Niagara Bank
  • Christian Hoffman, Community Missions
  • Sean Hudson, Niagara Falls Bridge Commission
  • Diane Koz, Stinson Developments
  • Tom Lowe, Niagara University ReNU Niagara
  • Heather Lyon, Enterprise Charter School
  • Amanda Machacek, Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak LLP
  • Raymond McGovern, Covanta Energy
  • Maria Pelow, 107th Airlift Wing
  • Kelly Rizzo, Niagara Falls Police Department
  • Andrew Rodgers, 107th Airlift Wing
  • Robert Roskwitalkski, New York Power Authority
  • James Rossi, General Motors Component Holdings
  • Kate Sarata, The Service Collaborative of WNY, Inc.
  • J. Roger Shaft, General Motors Component Holdings
  • Susan Shaft, Literacy New York
  • Joseph Sikora, North Tonawanda Fire Department
  • Justin Sondel, Niagara Gazette
  • Meaghan Sowinski, First Niagara Bank
  • Kathleen Urban, Niagara Falls City School District
  • Kristin Vescio, Brylin
  • Jim Vigil, Niagara Falls First Assembly of God
  • Steven Woock, Niagara County Sheriff's Office
  • Christopher Woods, KeyBank

The hour-long ceremony featured congratulatory remarks from Eddie Friel of Niagara Global Tourism Institute, chosen by the Class of 2014 as a top speaker.

"Leadership Niagara's Class of 2014 represents everything this organization and community aspires to be: diverse, binational, collaborative, intelligent, courageous and compassionate," Anderson said. "As the Niagara region heads toward a new era of possibility and opportunity, our graduates will be at the forefront."

Leadership Niagara participants complete a graduate-level program by partaking in seminars, retreats and daylong sessions. Throughout the program, participants engage with industry experts and discussions about economic development, tourism, workforce development, manufacturing, agribusiness, criminal justice, poverty, health care and education. Participants develop their understanding of leadership by studying and experiencing leadership concepts and principles, coaching and mentoring, change/transformation, creativity/innovation and organizational development.

Leadership Niagara is the longest-running community leadership development organization in New York. Since 1984, more than 1,400 participants have graduated from the program.

Leadership Niagara's mission is to strengthen regional leadership. For more information, visit www.leadershipniagara.org.

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