Developing Local Leaders

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The Simpsonville Area and Fountain Inn Chambers of Commerce worked together in 2018 to launch Leadership Golden Strip, a leadership development program for local business people in the Golden Strip area. The inaugural class began in June 2018, with participants graduating in spring 2019.

LGS is a 10-month program for professionals with the desire and ability to shape the future of our vibrant communities. Through face-to-face meetings with regional leaders and on-site visits with local agencies and businesses, participants explore the major issues and unique challenges facing the Golden Strip area.

“We are thrilled for this opportunity to collaborate with one of our neighboring Chambers, and to offer a more robust leadership development option for members of our community,” said Simpsonville Area Chamber President Allison McGarity. The Simpsonville Area Chamber has a strong history of developing community leaders by providing its own Leadership Simpsonville program, which will now be incorporated into the LGS program.

“Since joining the staff of the Fountain Inn Chamber last November, I have been pursuing meaningful opportunities to engage our members and encourage workforce and leadership development,” said Fountain Inn Chamber President Whitney Ferguson. “This collaboration is in line with the mission of our Chamber, and I anticipate that our members will be eager to become involved.”

LGS participants must complete a rigorous application process, uphold the program’s strict attendance policy and meet all program requirements in order to graduate. The graduating class will be publicly recognized with a formal graduation ceremony.

This dynamic program cultivates corporate and community leaders by introducing them to the various aspects of developing and maintaining a vibrant community, establishing dialogue with fellow community leaders, and facilitating their contributions to the betterment of the community. Leadership Golden Strip will fuel a network of strong, informed, community-minded leaders that will go on to work for local businesses, start their own ventures, and continue to serve those around them.

The program begins with a two-day retreat and continues with monthly sessions that cover topics such as local and state government, education, arts and history, infrastructure and more. Each session includes facility tours, expert presentations and one-on-one meetings with inspirational community leaders.

As the business community continues to grow, McGarity is excited about the future of the partnership with the Fountain Inn Chamber. “We are constantly looking for new strategies to shake things up and increase the value that our Chamber provides for the business community here in Simpsonville,” she said. “Leadership Golden Strip is one of our pillar programs which upholds the Chamber’s mission statement. We are very proud of our graduates and excited for what is to come.”