Building Better Leaders & Communities with Leadership Charlevoix County

"This is the most enjoyable experience I've ever had. The alumni mean a lot to me.”

Leadership Charlevoix County brings together up to 16 people for a rigorous 9 month course.

“These are emerging leaders already doing great things,” said Mary Faculak, board president and co-administrator of Leaderships Charlevoix County,

For the last 10 years, the group has hosted the best of the best of Charlevoix. Leadership Charlevoix County

“These are individuals from all parts of the county as far as non-profit organizations from business, from industries, entrepreneurs,” Faculak said.

They are coming together to better not just themselves but their community and each other.

“For every individual it’s a different journey and it has a different meaning but it does change their lives in some capacity,” Faculak said.

For 9 months, participants are taken through monthly 8 hour sessions on different topics from government to economic development and communication. That’s where they asked Xavier to come in and help the group’s participants get used to working with media and doing interviews.

For some like Jackie, it was natural and fun.

“Is there anything else you want to add?” Xavier asked. “I love you Mom,” said participant Jackie Wilson.

But for other, it was a trip outside of their comfort zone.

“I have a tendency to shy away from things so this is an opportunity to spread my wings and grow my contacts with the community,” said participant Melissa Suto. “I’m much more confident, I’m a much better leader and I feel like I’m already setting the example for some people.”

They are also learning skills they wouldn’t get anywhere else.

“This has given me a lot of different tools,” said participant Savannah Bergmann. “Like even today for instance, we are learning these different media aspects that I probably wouldn’t have learned anywhere else.”

But it’s also the connections they build. Leadership Charlevoix County Class

“I think it’s a great program for anyone that wants to see different perspective,” said participant Tyler Prange.” “Everyone’s experiences are totally different, it’s really cool.”

“I’m really looking to network and grow with my community and give back in the community I grew up in,” Wilson said.

The most remarkable part of the group is their incredible connection with each other.

“This group is almost extraordinary with what they’re doing and the closeness happened very quickly,” Faculak said. “These are going to be lifelong connections here.

For Faculak, the over 140 Leadership Charlevoix County alumni are what keep her going.

“It’s the most satisfying thing that can happen, I get a little emotional because this program means a lot to me,” Faculak said. “This is the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had. The alumni mean a lot to me.”

Each month the group’s session takes them to a different city in the county. At the end of the program, they will have put together a community project with each and every single one of them contributing.

If you want to learn more about Leadership Charlevoix County or get involved as a sponsor or participant, click here.

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