EASTON — Becoming a member of the Shore Leadership Class of 2020 was a goal that Lois Thomas from Chesapeake College has had for several years.

“I have heard so many wonderful things about Shore Leadership. The leadership training and the networking with other professionals on the Shore really appealed to me,” Thomas said in a news release.

Then COVID-19 hit. The orientation scheduled for two days in April had to be postponed and there were discussions about cancelling the Class of 2020 and waiting until April of 2021 to start the next class.

After many discussions, the Shore Leadership Executive Committee decided to move forward virtually with the Class of 2020, according to the release.

A Virtual Meet and Greet was held Aug. 19. Chairperson Derek White welcomed new class members. Other alumni members spoke about their experiences in Shore Leadership.

Deidre Johnson of Wor-Wic Community College, Candice Schroepfer of Perdue and Cathy Cassell of Channel Marker participated in the conversations with the new class members.

Joe Thomas and Carol Graser, leadership facilitators, talked to the class about what they could expect to learn about themselves and leadership.

In closing, alumnus Ryan Snow shared his experiences as a Shore Leadership member. He spoke about how he had been involved in several leadership classes but Shore Leadership far surpassed all of the others, the release states.

“The knowledge I gained and the networking experiences with my classmates helped me get to my current position as the Eastern Shore Liaison with the Governor’s Office. I have lived on the Shore all of my life and I learned things and met people through Shore Leadership that I never expected,” Snow said.

The first virtual Shore Leadership class session convened on Sept. 16. The morning session focused on “What is Leadership?” followed by an afternoon team-building experience.

Future virtual sessions are scheduled for Oct. 21 and 27, as well as dates in November and December. In January, the Shore Leadership Class of 2020 may resume meeting face-to-face in different locations on the Shore, pending changes and updates in guidelines due to COVID-19.

Shore Leadership offers executives, managers and leaders on the Eastern Shore the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the issues and challenges facing the Eastern Shore. Led by a certified master coach, participants are guided through skill building activities and conversation to foster collaboration and problem solving. A measureable impact on the expansion of personal and professional networks among the class participants is an inevitable outcome.

Scholarship funds are available on a limited basis.

For more information on the application process, contact info@shoreleader ship.org or visit shoreleader ship.org.

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