Leadership conference takes place in Granby on Friday | SkyHiNews.com

Leadership conference takes place in Granby on Friday

Will Bublitz
Grand County, Colorado

As everyone knows, America has its problems ” a faltering economy, illegal drug use, overburdened school systems, law enforcement issues, you-name-it.

Are we going to continue to wait for the federal or state government to step into try to solve these problems? Or are we going to try to find solutions at the local level?

If you believe that local action is needed to provide local solutions, then go to the Grand County Leadership Conference 2008 taking place on Friday at the Granby Library.

Friday’s conference is being sponsored jointly by the library and Grand County Center 4 Excellence, a local nonprofit educational organization.

“Grand County has got to be more prepared to address its own problems in the future,” said Larry Norman, Director of the Grand County Center 4 Excellence. “Local leadership is imperative if we’re going to find solutions. We need to find more leadership and that’s why we’re holding this conference.”

The conference will begin Friday at 1:30 p.m. with a Leadership Planning Conference. During that 1-1/2 hour session, representatives of local towns, law enforcement, school districts, Grand County Rural Health Network, churches, Colorado Workforce, Hispanic groups, businesses and service organizations will be attending.

“The purpose of that session is to bring the leadership of Grand County together to discuss the issues that are facing us,” Norman said. “We need to talk about issues such as unemployment, public safety, youth programming and education, drugs and alcohol and affordable housing.”

Along with discussing these issues, Norman said the conference attendees will also work to identify “indigenous leadership” including teenagers and members of local organizations who could provide assistance in handling local issues.

“We may also have one or two members of student governments attending Friday,” Norman said. “We want their input on the issues.”

Following the first session, Friday’s conference will hold a “Youth Leadership/Mentorship Session” from 3:30-5 p.m. The public, especially teenagers, are encouraged to attend.

“Mentoring is different from leadership of a youth organization,” Norman said. “Mentors guide young people and help them to develop as moral, ethical leaders among their peers.”

Local business owner Rick Callahan will be the special guest speaker during the Youth Leadership/Mentorship Session. He was a former coach and mentor to Denver Nuggets and All-Star basketball player Chauncey Billups when he was on his Denver youth basketball team years ago.

“As our keynote speaker, Rick will talk about the role that mentors can have in the lives of today’s youth,” Norman said. “Mentoring is different from the leadership of being a coach. Youth should seek out mentors to help them develop character and define their goals. Rick will discuss what we adults can do to do a better job of mentoring.”

Friday’s conference will conclude with an Open Forum from 6-7:30 p.m. A panel of local leaders will be on hand to discuss what was learned during the planning session and answer the public’s questions.

“This conference is an initial step and I believe it will be a good one,” Norman said. “We hope to develop a partnership between all the leaders in this county to take on the issues facing our communities. I’m excited about this first step.”

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