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Leadership Atmore class of 2001 graduates

By By EMILIE MIMS
Chamber of Commerce Director
On the evening of May 17, at a dinner held at the Watson Cabin, Leadership Atmore graduated 22 participants. This event completed a nine-month (one full day each month), hands-on program designed to give participants a better understanding of their community, county and state.
A list of the participants and their professions speaks to the diversity of this year's class. They are David Adams, warehouse manager, Pepsi Cola; Robert Blankenship, managing editor, The Atmore Advance; Joyce Bolden, librarian, Atmore Public Library; John Brantley, assistant vice president of human resources, United Bank; James E. Brown, research and development supervisor, Z-Tel; Wesley Channell, pastor, First Presbyterian Church; Nathaniel Dennis, instructor, Jefferson Davis Community College; Seth Dettling, real estate appraiser; Debbie Fore, registered nurse, Atmore Community Hospital; Wanda A. Hall, auditor, First National Bank; Scott T. Hurst, administrator, Atmore Nursing Care Center; Ronnie Huskey, sales supervisor, Pepsi Cola; Beth Ann King, manager, Regions Bank; Tracy B. Miller, nail technician and massage therapist; Jason B. Rackard, human resources director, Poarch Creek Indians; Stephanie B. Rolin, tribal administrator, Poarch Creek Indians; Nerissa O. Salter, customer service consultant, Frontier Communications; John P. Taylor, teacher, Escambia County High School; Allen Walston, insurance agent, Alfa; Jason L. Weber, farmer; Joseph Greg Wilson, maintenance director, Atmore Nursing Care Center; Jane Woods, CSR supervisor, United Bank.
Scott Hurst, president of the Class of 2001, summed up his Leadership Atmore experience best when he spoke of arriving in Atmore last April knowing no one. In September, he joined the Leadership Atmore Class of 2001 at Camp Beckwith on Weeks By for the opening retreat. The first day at Beckwith was spent on an outdoor ropes course where the challenges can be a little frightening to say the least. Scott talked about the mental and emotional stretch required to trust complete strangers in that setting. By the end of the nine-month experience, Scott said he had not only gained 21 new friends, but also had established a network of professionals that he could call on in the community. But more importantly, he said, the process had given him a real sense of Atmore as his home.
Scott Hurst's comments speak to the real meaning of the Leadership Atmore program. Leadership Atmore is about understanding your community – understanding who we are, where we came from, where we are headed and what challenges lie ahead. It's about looking for opportunities in those challenges and believing that we, as individuals or collectively, can make our community a better place to live. But the bigger picture is about feeling a sense of ownership in your community.
To Peggie Byrd, chairman of the Leadership Steering Committee, and its members Walter Butler, Rusty Miller, Mary Jane Schrock, Terri Godwin, Gwen Frye, Elsie Butler, Lori Sawyer and Anthony Marshall, thank you for your unrelenting commitment to making each session informative and thought provoking. And to Marcella Wilson, program director of Leadership Atmore, thank you for your continued commitment to this program. Your donation of both time and enthusiasm is invaluable.
Experience Atmore! Leadership Atmore will begin recruiting the Class of 2002 in July. If you would like to apply, call the Chamber of Commerce at 368-3305. Limited tuition assistance is available.