County invites applicants to 2022 Leadership Program

Marion County residents who long to improve their communities have an opportunity to participate in Marion County Leadership Program, a program designed to teach leadership skills while learning about the county’s needs. Ten to fifteen participants are being sought to participate in the eight-week program facilitated by the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) and funded by the Marion County Leadership Endowment held by Central Kansas Community Foundation (CKCF).

The Leadership Program classes will be held eight days over a period of six weeks. Some days will require participation from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. at the KLC in Wichita. Other days will be spent touring the county and in discussions about how to apply learnings at KLC to discoveries about Marion County.

Participants will make connections and gain insights about Marion County and practice leadership skills to make progress on local challenges. “The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) encouraged me to take on a new perspective about what means to lead others. The act of leadership is viewed as an activity—not a position—and anyone can learn to exercise leadership anytime. I am excited to see how the Marion County Leadership Program can support and build a community utilizing the KLC framework,” said Tristen Cope, K-State Research and Extension Agent.

The KLC is a first-of-its-kind nonprofit educational organization with a civic mission, national reputation and global reach. Founded in 2007 to foster leadership for stronger, healthier, and more prosperous Kansas communities, KLC receives core funding from the Kansas Health Foundation (a private, philanthropic organization). Over the past 15 years, KLC has been supporting and partnering with Kansas community leadership programs. Indeed, the existence of first-class community leadership programs in Kansas was part of what led to the creation of KLC.

The Marion County Leadership program that’s being planned holds great potential to enhance the county’s assets and address some of its challenges. CKCF is proud to partner with KLC in this endeavor to bring local leaders together and cultivate their skills.

Without initial financial support from the Kansas Health Foundation, this program would not be possible.

Local leaders along with KLC and CKCF recognized an opportunity to restructure the Leadership Marion project following its hiatus due to lack of local coordination. A planning committee formed in Spring 2021 to reignite the program. Tristen Cope, Larry Geist, Ashley Herpich, David Mueller, Becky Nickel, Anthony Roy and Tina Spencer have been meeting in collaboration with KLC staff Racquel Thiesen and Maren Berblinger.

An online application is available at under News and Announcements. The program schedule is included with the application and applicants must commit to actively participating in all eight sessions, from the first session on Sept. 1 through final session on Oct. 13. Program registration fee is $50.00. Grant funds will cover meals and transportation, materials, and tuition at KLC.

For more information contact Ashley Herpich at the County Clerk’s office at (620) 382-2185.

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