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Leadership Programming Wraps up 2023-2024 with Graduations

Excellence in Leadership, Edge Student Leadership and Equip Student Leadership each completed their program years with graduations, recognitions and an understanding they have an opportunity to become more engaged in their community.

The Chamber’s Excellence in Leadership class met in April for Decatur Now and Then Day. They heard community updates from Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long and Decatur City Mayor Tab Bowling. After visiting the Old State Bank, the group embarked on a bus tour of the Historic Old Town District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, led by local historian Peggy Allen Towns. After lunch, Decatur City School Board of Education member Doug Bachuss shared servant leadership goals with the class. They ended the day discussing their community project, the Boss of the Toss Cornhole Tournament.

Excellence in Leadership met for Leading the Way Day in May, which was the last meeting for this class before graduation. They heard from Decatur City Councilman Kyle Pike about the Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority and Dan and Carol Beth Durbin with Durbin Leadership, LLC. Laura Ritch shared invaluable tips on dinner and business etiquette during lunch at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Decatur Riverfront. The class also took a moment to surprise and honor Judy Brown for her tireless dedication in leading the program throughout the year.

The class was honored with a graduation ceremony at the Small Business Awards Celebration Luncheon in May. The class donated over $9,600 to the Decatur Morgan Hospital - West Campus Children’s Behavioral Health Unit from their successful charity cornhole tournament.

Excellence in Leadership is presented by Nucor Steel Decatur and gold sponsors are the City of Decatur, Durbin Leadership, LLC and Shawn D. Garth, Realtor.

In April, Edge Student Leadership, the Chamber's nine-month leadership program for 10th and 11th graders from across Morgan County, celebrated their graduation with a dinner and ceremony at at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Decatur Riverfront. After the team presentations showcasing their community projects with local nonprofits, Dr. Chuck Karr, President of The University of Alabama in Huntsville, emphasized to over 100 students and parents the importance of vision and values in achieving leadership success.

Claire Stewart, a junior at Decatur High School, was selected by the class as the Mary Shaw Ozier Spirit of Leadership Award winner and was honored at the graduation ceremony. The award was presented by last year’s winner, Sydney Brown, and is sponsored by Horizon Point Consulting, Inc. It is given to the Edge student that best exemplifies a spirit of leadership and commitment to the program.

This program presented by Nucor Steel Decatur exposes students to leadership opportunities, provides the tools necessary to develop individual leadership skills and encourages students to be a positive influence in their schools and communities. Hubbard & Drake General – Mechanical Contractors, Inc., Joe Wheeler EMC and the Morgan County Commission are gold sponsors for the program. A special thank you to Carol Beth Durbin, Chairwoman for Edge Student Leadership, for her dedication and guidance throughout the year.

The Chamber's Equip Student Leadership program, which is made up of eighth grade students from Decatur City, Hartselle and Morgan County Schools, met in May for their last session. The first stop was Valley Rubber (GRT Rubber) in Falkville where they were able to tour the facility and learn about blasting, painting, welding and mold maintenance. After lunch, the students received a sweet treat and a certificate of completion.

The goal of the five-month program is to help 8th graders with leadership training, career development and to show them in-demand job opportunities. Thank you to our presenting sponsor Nucor Steel Decatur and gold sponsor 3M.




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