Eighteen community leaders in business, industry, health care, city and township government, and education were honored recently as Leadership Kokomo celebrated the completion of its 37th edition of the leadership development program. The graduates were honored at a luncheon at the Elite Banquet & Conference Center also attended by their sponsors, LK alumni and other community leaders.
Members of Leadership Kokomo’s Class of 2019 and their sponsors include:
Josh Baker, Community First Bank of Indiana
Teresa Bell, Haynes International
Kathryn Jacks Brommeland, Ivy Tech Community College
Sandy Chapin. Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance
Alisha Davenport, Center Township of Howard County Trustee Office
Wryan Gibson, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Julie Armstrong-Huval, Indiana Wesleyan University
Ashley Meyers, Kokomo Howard County Public Library
Rebekah Monroe-Boley, Indiana University Kokomo
Caele Pemberton, United Way serving Howard and Tipton Counties
Katelynn Ritchey, Kokomo Housing Authority
Jason Swing, Syndicate Sales, Inc.
Elizabeth Titus, The City of Kokomo, Parks & Recreation Department
Katie Voorhis, Comfort Home Health
April Wheeldon, Bucheri, McCarty & Metz LLP
Jacquelyn Whobrey, Community Howard Regional Health
Leadership Kokomo is a cooperative effort of Ivy Tech Community College, the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, and the City of Kokomo. In a year-long program, it aims to bring together a diverse group of existing and emerging community leaders to empower them to become resourceful stewards of the community. Each class is divided into teams to develop and complete group projects benefiting local organizations. At the graduation luncheon, teams described the 2019 class projects that served four Kokomo non-profit organizations. The projects included:
· Updating the auditorium kitchen at Carver Community Center with fresh paint; new cabinets, countertops and culinary tables; and money for new flooring. The renovations were designed to improve the kitchen that is used to generate revenue for the community center
· Donating a wide variety of age-appropriate equipment for the indoor gymnasium at Sycamore Elementary School, as well as $300 for the Wildkat Cart, which is filled with prizes students get to “buy” with tickets they accumulate for a variety of good behavior. This included soccer balls, basketballs, dodgeballs, giant bowling and checker games, hula-hoops, chalk, jump ropes, and hundreds of whiffle balls and foam blocks.
· Replacing all the twin beds with full-sized beds at Jackson Street Commons to improve the quality of health and well-being through better sleep for the military veterans who live there. As a bonus, the Commons was able to donate its still-usable twin bedding to the Domestic Violence Shelter and Bona Vista for use in supporting those they serve. The team also donated $797 to Jackson Street Commons to be used as needed.
· Reorganizing and furnishing the workshop space for Kokomo Urban Outreach’s Step UP for Girls program. This included construction of four work tables with 16 new stools, new lighting, fresh paint, and a variety of storage pieces so needed supplies can be better organized. To complete their project, the team presented the organization with a $100 gift card to purchase supplies as needed.
Representing the City of Kokomo, Deputy Mayor David Tharp welcomed guests to the luncheon, with opening remarks from Theresa Murphy, vice chancellor of Student Success for Ivy Tech Kokomo. Rev. Robert Lee, Center Township trustee, gave the invocation and Sherry Rahl, president of the Leadership Kokomo Advisory Council, congratulated the graduates. In his message to the Class of 2019, Howard County Commissioner Paul Wyman, also of The Wyman Group, urged the graduates to continue to put their talents and what they have learned in Leadership Kokomo to work as servant leaders in the community.
Members of the 2019 Leadership Kokomo Advisory Council include Polly Bray of the City of Kokomo, Kyle Ennis of Community First Bank, Karen Gardner of The Hardie Group, Ethan Heicher of Ivy Tech Community College, Sherry Rahl of Turning Point – System of Care, Aimee Romero of Ruoff Mortgage, and Charlie Sparks of the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance.