FLEMINGTON, NJ – Leadership Hunterdon has graduated its class of 2016.

Leadership Hunterdon is a program sponsored by the county Chamber of Commerce. The goal of the program  is to help participants become trustees of their communities and become leadership resources.

For the past five years, the program has helped participants understand different community aspects such as business, education, tourism, agriculture, real estate, health care and government.

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Participants met with leaders in Hunterdon, and acquire knowledge in these key areas. Each class concludes the program by working in teams to create a White Paper that is focused on a key issue in Hunterdon. Typically, the topic will involve an area of economic development, because it impacts the creation of jobs and helps improve quality of life.

“We have watched this class grow into leaders over the past year,” said Freeholder Director Suzanne Lagay, facilitator of this year’s program. “Companies that sponsor Leadership Hunterdon and have employees participate stand to benefit from the program by investing in the future of Hunterdon.”

Participants of the Leadership Hunterdon program develop decision making and strategic thinking skills, cultivate relationships and acquire exposure to Hunterdon businesses and leaders from all sectors including, political, nonprofit and community. They learn the skills necessary to lead a team, motivate associates and influence others.

“We have hit a milestone” with the program,” said Chris Phelan, President and CEO of the county Chamber of Commerce. “This initiative is gaining great traction and having, more importantly, a positive impact on Hunterdon County’s economy.”

Graduates are encouraged to take on leadership roles by serving on boards of directors for non-profit organizations, engaging in civic leadership roles or joining community committees.

A graduation dinner held in June congratulated a number of members for their work and dedication to the program, including Joe Peters of Weichert Realtors in Clinton, Margret Butler of Hawk Pointe Golf Club, Rosanne DeTorres of DeTorres & DeGeorge, Brian Miller of TeamLink HR, Jean Ciullo of Hunterdon Prevention Resources, Nancy Fritz E. Mombay of Raritan Valley Community College, Dana Elizondo of Unity Bank, Rachel Eichem of United Way of Hunterdon and Kathleen Wickman of Hunterdon Healthcare.

Speakers at the graduation ceremony included Karen Widico, Chair of the Leadership Hunterdon Board of Trustees; Lagay and Fitzgerald.

The keynote speaker was Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli. Speaking of this year’s participants, he said, “Their energy, curiosity, and commitment to improving our community is inspiring.”

For more information about the program, contact Phelan at the Chamber by calling 908-782-7115.