Chamber News

Clermont’s Pioneering LEADers Modeled the Way

It is very inspiring to see how far the “Clermont Chamber Foundation” has come in the last five years. Significant county-wide impact is being felt through:

  • LEAD Clermont Academy, having trained 162 student LEADers over the last 14 months and engaging each in “The Promise”;
  • Work Readiness Initiative mentoring 3,634 students from every school district;
  • KLiCWow, putting a tablet and learning software into the hands of every 3 year old in our county;
  • and the many volunteer board members, elected officials, and community servants improving the vitality of our county.

The truth is that while the big results that are coming truly are astounding, they didn’t happen by accident or overnight.

Much hard work (through many volunteers) has gone into generating those results.

As I hear the accolades and the notice we’re getting… it reminds me that efforts of the past 25 years laid the groundwork.

For example, in 2002 “Clermont 20/20” facilitated a Community Conversation (hosted by UC Clermont). That led to the creation of this inspiring vision:

A Shared Vision for Clermont County:

Together we will have established an outstanding educational network that is nationally recognized for the community support that assures lifelong learning.

It’s Overall Goal was to create an inclusive, lifelong learning network that:

  • Educates and inspires us as citizens to understand our role in the world and to be responsible for meeting the changing needs of the community and the individual;
  • Continuously develops and improves a workforce to meet the employment demands of the community;
  • Makes Clermont County a great place to live, learn and work.”

That Community Conversation was spawned by a County-wide Convention that my LEAD Clermont (1998) team designed and led. It goes without saying that the whole LEAD Program (back before “LEAD Classic”) was inspired by the Leadership 2001 initiative outlined in the history book “Clermont 2001 a New Century of Leadership” (written and/or edited by John Melvin). And truth be told, Messrs. Ed Parish and Bill Over plus the other 73 “shakers and movers” of the day led the charge.

My point is that much like people are noticing the happenings of The Banks and of OTR in Cincinnati, people are noticing what is happening here in Clermont County. And just as the visionary seeds of the downtown projects were planted 25 years ago by visionaries, our seeds were also sown long ago.

The above Shared Vision came out of the Community Conversation of 2002 and the subsequent efforts of the task force. I carried this vision on a card in my wallet for many years until much of the print had worn off. Many times, it looked as though we were making no progress – or were even going backward (challenges at the Chamber, dissolution of Clermont 20/20, lulls in LEAD participation, political scandals, waning educational support, etc.).


And keep imagining where we’re heading!

by: William F. Lyon, President, The Lyon Group LLC,  1998 LEAD Class, Clermont Chamber Board Member

*LEAD Clermont Academy note: we are grateful for the path that was blazed before us; the vision cast; the foundation laid; the obstacles overcome; the LEADership modeled. Our vision today is clearer because of the honor to stand on the shoulders of those Clermont LEADers who came before us….  Thank You!

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