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Program promotes area leadership

The last several months have been a challenge for many of us as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

That definitely was the case for the members of the 2020 class of Leadership Ohio Valley, but, as with any true leaders, they persevered, were flexible with their actions and pushed forward toward their goal.

Leadership Ohio Valley is organized by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, with each class a collective of men and women from the area business and civic communities.

Each class is tasked with planning and holding a series of classes, focusing on a different element of society, as well as volunteering their time with local organizations and putting together a group project in service to the community.

Members of the Class of 2020 began their journey last November, and were able to get some of their activities taken care of, including the kickoff weekend and a trip to Charleston. Then the virus hit our area, businesses and governmental offices were shut down and community events were canceled.

In the face of an unknown future, class members figured things out and were able to complete their sessions with unique and inventive measures. They used video conferencing to assist with attendance when some members couldn’t make a session. Instead of going into the local school system to learn about education, they visited a local art gallery and were taught various painting methods. On Oct. 18, after the program was extended for several months, they were able to finally celebrate their achievements, and we offer our congratulations.

This year’s Leadership Ohio Valley graduates include Terri Phillips, Chris Smalley, Rain Lucas, Kelly Wohnhas, Amira Taylor, Anthony Forte, Duane Frazier, Brandon Palmeri, Sarah Farran and Salvation Army Lt. Gene Hunt.

We applaud their efforts, which showed true leadership in overcoming challenges no one expected, and wish them well in all of their future work in the community.

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