Chamber leadership program kicks off

The St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce recently began its new Leadership St. Mary Program, with the inaugural class attending their first annual retreat at Lumen Christi in October and their second meeting last week at Morgan City Bank.

Facilitated by Brent Henley of the Pyramid Group, the retreat sessions employed various team building exercises including an “information scavenger hunt” and having the class “sing for their supper.”

The main focus of the seminar was a simulated society project, or SIMSOC, in which the students were assigned specific roles to play such as business owners, political leaders, union organizers and the society’s citizenry and work force. The participants were given a manual and then left to find a way to build a thriving society.

“It was very interesting and eye-opening to be in the red group,” said Michael Tamporello, legislative assistant for Bret Allain. “So many of us are used to being in those leadership to start in a group that virtually had no power was very challenging, and it gave me an appreciation of the different roles in our society and how important each one is to the success of our region.”

Kristy Toups, assistant general manager for the Holiday Inn in Morgan City said, “I learned a lot about teamwork and community. Some members of the game were living in poverty with nothing, others were leaders of the community; but each person played a significant role in the game. It opened my eyes to the different ‘classes’ we have in our community and what their struggles are. I learned that communication is an important characteristic for any leader to possess. Without communication, our society would have failed. The turning point in our retreat was when we came together as a community and looked at what would benefit the society as a whole rather than what would benefit us personally.”

At the December session they met with Jennifer Ledet of Ledet Management Consulting to study personality profiles, traits of strong leaders and differing leadership styles.

The St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Class of 2012 is sponsored by Cameron Ironworks., Holiday Inn, and Teche Regional Medical Center.

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

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