By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
“Networking” is one of the key words in the Leadership Ste. Genevieve program.
Put on by the Ste. Genevieve Chamber of Commerce, the program just graduated its third group in four years.
Fourteen people went through Leadership Ste. Genevieve in 2022, giving the program 48 total alumni since its inception in 2019.
It wasn’t a concept that was slapped together at the last minute.
“There were a couple of years worth of planning and researching and trying to outline a really good program,” Dena Kreitler, executive director of the chamber, said.
There have been between 14 and 18 participants each time, with a maximum capacity of 20.
The 2020 class did not get to complete all of its tasks, due to COVID 19, and the program was not held in 2021, due to the lingering effects of the pandemic.
In 2022, the 2020 members were invited to come back and go through the parts they had missed, along with the Class of 2022.
Kreitler believes the program has been a benefit to the chamber and to the larger community.
“The reason I was so passionate about it was we knew there was going to be a lot of turnover in our companies due to retirement,” she said. “So we had a lot of new faces coming into the fold. Those new faces didn’t know each other and they didn’t know the business community.
“So it was about putting a face with a name and also making a connection and a possible relationship with the people filling those retirement positions.”
Kreitler shared a little about the program.
“Every year the program is a little different,” she said. “There’s an education component, there’s a city-county government component, there’s recreation, there’s manufacturing, there’s a healthcare component. We look at the hospitals and nursing homes. It just depends on the companies that want to do it every year.”
The manufacturing companies have to be divided up, since there are so many. That way, in Kreitler’s words, “Everybody gets a little piece of the pie.”
Meanwhile, GlenView Group is contracted to offer leadership training as part of the course. This includes becoming a person of influence, leadership goals, etc.
In 2022, the class did a community service project.
“It was very popular,” Kreitler said. “We had a great day. We knocked out some awesome work, so we were pretty proud of that. Every year we do the program a little differently.”