BEND, Ore. - With nine months of education, training, and new community connections behind them, a dedicated group of local business and community members have now joined the ranks of the prestigious Leadership Bend Alumni.
The Leadership Bend Class of 2014 graduated June 19th to the sights of glorious mountain views and a warm, dramatic sunset from the Mountain Room atop Deschutes Brewery, while toasting with fellow classmates and guests to a job well done.
Twenty-one participants graduated this year, which also just happens to be the 21st year since Leadership Bend's first class graduated in 1993, and a key supporter of this year's program, Todd Taylor of Taylor Northwest, was one of those first graduates.
In a continual form of encouragement from the start of the 2014 program, Taylor shared not only his experiences since becoming an alum those 21 years ago but, even more so, focused his belief in all of them for their commitment and dedication in helping shape the direction of our community by investing in their own local knowledge and leadership.
At graduation, he capped off this theme and directed them by saying, "Get involved and get started right away, like within the next 30 days!"
It seemed apropos the graduates and Taylor celebrated the evening in the Mountain Room, as Deschutes Brewery founder Gary Fish helped launch Leadership Bend that very same year while serving on the Board for the Bend Chamber of Commerce. Leadership Bend is a separate 501(c)3 non-profit from the Chamber and is similar to programs one might find nationwide.
Currently, there are over 300 Leadership Bend Alumni, many of whom have gone on to serve in a myriad of roles positively impacting the region or even now hold prominent positions in business, governance and social services.
Alumni are often a resource for exploring how to get involved in the community, and to find out more about the hot topics explored in this year's program, just ask one of the following graduates of the Class of 2014:
Charles Abasa-Nyarko, COCC; Anne Aurand, City of Bend; Lynn Baker, Ascent Architecture; Justin Barden, Taylor Northwest; Dawn Cofer, Bank of the Cascades; Sonja Donohue, BendBroadband; Jordan Elliott, Mt. Bachelor; Theo Giannioses, COCC; Kelly Hanslovan-Bond, kevmarc; Marc Madron, Umpqua Bank; Ashley Mears, US Bank; Drew Moore, Deschutes County DA's Office; Gary North, R&H Construction; Toni Ryan, J Bar J Youth Services; Kris Scholl, Deschutes Brewery; Stephanie Senner, BendBroadband; Rick Silbaugh, Deschutes County 9-1-1; Kerri Standerwick, The Garner Group; Jillian Taylor, Jillian Taylor Consulting; Shawn Taylor, OSU-Cascades; and Kevin Tucker, Arbor Mortgage.
With the Leadership Bend class of 2014 graduated, the opportunity now opens for new participants to submit applications for 2015. Sponsorship opportunities to assist with this development of local emerging leaders are also open.
Find more information and applications online at www.bendchamber.org at Chamber Involvement/ Leadership Bend. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis through August 15th and will be reviewed for acceptance on an individual basis. The Leadership Bend Alumni Network can be found on Facebook.