Leadership Vermillion welcomes its fifth class

Leadership Vermillion welcomes its fifth class The members of the 2004 Leadership Vermillion class began their leadership training experience on Friday, Oct. 15, in the community room of the Vermillion Public Library. The overall theme for this first of eight monthly sessions was "Vision of Vermillion and Economic Development."

Vermillion Mayor Dan Christopherson, Leadership Vermillion Advisory Board President Lisa Sorensen, Professor Emeritus Dr. William Farber and Dr. Elizabeth Smith of the USD Political Science Department and the Farber Center welcomed the group to the class.

Following introductions of the members of the class, Christopherson presented a brief history of Vermillion followed by Dr. Smith who talked to the group about the historic preservation of Vermillion's downtown and other areas.

Tom Reasoner, manager of USD's Architectual and Engineering Services, spoke to the group about the University's Master Plan and what it means for Vermillion.

Reasoner was followed by Kevin Jacobsen who conducted a SWOT Analysis with the group during a working lunch catered by Hy-Vee. Jacobsen led the group as they defined the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats which they feel are issues for the Vermillion community today.

Carl Gutzman, Leadership Vermillion publicity chair, signed up the members of the group to write an article for the newspaper following each meeting.

Mel Ustad, USD's interim vice president for research, spoke to the group about the "Vermillion Entrepreneurship Center" highlighting the research that is ongoing at the university and the need for entrepreneurial dollars in the process of starting up new businesses.

City Manager James Patrick presented the city's comprehensive plan of development including streetscape, potential areas for annexation, water and sewer issues, street improvement.

Kenyon Gleason, from the USD Marketing and Public Relations Office, talked about what "2bU." means for Vermillion.

Gleason was followed by Lisa Ketcham, director of the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce and Development Company, who told the group about what has been going on in the way of business recruitment and some of the new businesses that have resulted for Vermillion.

The group then boarded a bus for a tour of Vermillion's Industrial Park areas where construction for several of the new businesses has already begun. The bus trip ended at Polaris Industries where Polaris' John Storm took the group on a tour of the facility.

The class ended their first day at the home of Dan and Gloria Christopherson who held a reception in their honor. Members of previous Leadership Vermillion classes also attended the reception.

The day's activities were planned and coordinated by past leadership class members Gloria Barnes, Lisa Ketcham, Nancy Nelson and Mel Ustad.

The members of the 2004 class are Barbara Campbell, Kathy Chandler, Cathy Colwell, Roger Jeck, Matt Knutson, Courtney Marshall, Thomas Thaden, Veronica Schmidt, Amy Schwinle, Will Schwinle, Darwin VanDenOever, Eric Wiltrout, and Diane Zak.

The Vermillion Chamber and Development Company and USD's Farber Center for Civic Leadership created the Leadership Vermillion Program to identify and train new leaders for civic and political life in the greater Vermillion area, including Clay County and the Newcastle-Ponca area.

The following topics will be covered during the year's programs: Cultural Assets, Political Leadership, Legislative Day in Pierre, Skills of Leadership, Roles of Volunteers in the Community, and USD's annual Research Day.

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