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Jeff D.
Republican CA 10

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  • Celebrating 30 Years of Leadership Modesto

    by Representative Jeff Denham

    Posted on 2013-01-18

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    DENHAM of california in the house of representatives Friday, January 18, 2013 Mr. DENHAM. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge and honor Leadership Modesto as they celebrate 30 years of leadership education in the Central Valley.



    Leadership Modesto was established in 1981 by founding Members Dave Kilby, Jeff Cowan, John Sutton, Connie Bird, Ed Boyle, Stan Hodges, Mike Zagaris and Virginia Bruch. The program was formed through the Modesto Chamber of Commerce to identify new potential Modesto leaders and to provide a ten-month program that will develop knowledge and understanding of the community--its complexities and its potential. The program also provides an opportunity for participants to meet and exchange ideas with each other and current community leaders, and to motivate and encourage participants to assume leadership roles in community affairs.

    Leadership Modesto has turned out graduates such as Former Mayor James Ridenour, current Mayor Garrad Marsh, current Vice Mayor Stephanie Burnside, Modesto City Council Members Joe Muratore and Dave Cogdill Jr., and Sheriff Adam Christianson to name a few. Some of the community efforts and accomplishments--established Bette Belle Smith Day, upgraded playground equipment at JFK Elementary School, clothing drive for Professional Dress, and raised money for Camp Taylor.

    The program also provides an opportunity for its members to connect, discuss and exchange ideas with each other and current community leaders, and to motivate and build strong minded leaders to assume leadership roles in our community.

    Leadership Modesto is building our future and celebrating our past. Leadership Modesto is men and women with a sincere commitment, motivation and interest in serving the community. During the ten month program, members expand their understanding of Modesto and Stanislaus County through exposure to community issues many may not otherwise have the opportunity to explore at the same time enhancing leadership and management skills, and develop close relationships and mutual concerns with other class members.

    Even during a down economy, the Leadership Modesto program continues to inspire public and private sector interest and participation. One of the key successes to the longevity of the Modesto program is the program leadership infrastructure--led by a committed group of Steering Committee members. Each Steering Committee member has a direct connection with one of the day topic planning teams. This direct connection enables the program to move quickly, to mobilize and respond to challenges and changes.

    Mr. Speaker, please join me in honoring Leadership Modesto for 30 years of delivered premier leadership training for Modesto. More than 500 graduates pepper business and industry, elected offices, as well as non-profit volunteer boards and organizations. It's our community's succession plan.

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