Leadership is everyone’s job

September 14, 2018Erica Pangburn, Director of Community Engagement

“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” -Ralph Nader

This quote accurately describes the vision and the essence of the Chamber’s Leadership Abilene program and its ALL NEW Young Leadership Abilene (YLA) program With both of these programs launching for the year in the first two weeks of September, and RISE (Relationships, Insight, Service and Engagement) kicking off in October, we have been busy wrapping up last minute details.  It is our annual reminder that we are at the beginning of another season of engaging with folks as they embark on a new and more personal Abilene experience. This is an especially impactful experience for participants who have been here their whole lives, and inevitably learn something about their beloved Abilene for the first time.

Chaired by Jessi Bailey from West Texas Rehabilitation Center, RISE is an eight-month, intensive and participant interactive leadership training program designed and conducted by a proven and respected leadership trainer. Participants discuss with other emerging and key leaders in Abilene, apply the learning through their current role in his or her organization, develop and grow as a professional with stretching commitments, and build supportive relationships with the community of leaders in Abilene.

Click here to see this year’s RISE class.

Chaired by Chief Larry Bell (retired) and Evan Simmons (United Way) participants in the Leadership Abilene programs meet one day a month for nine months and dive into the inner workings of what makes Abilene, Abilene. Program days include City/County Government, Healthcare, Education, Servant Leadership (which focuses on non-profit organizations), Economic Development, Arts & Quality of Life, and Dyess Air Force Base. Class members bond quickly through experiences that are designed to challenge them both personally and professionally and through opportunities to examine the inner-workings of their community at the micro-level.

The purpose of Leadership Abilene is this:

  • Identify and motivate potential leaders

  • Acquaint them with community needs

  • Provide insight into techniques, opportunities and challenges of leadership

  • Explore alternate perspectives for community challenges

  • Encourage new leaders to community involvement

What do Chamber Leadership programs produce? A group of people who are passionate about living and working here. A group of people who are newly committed to rolling up their sleeves and getting a little dirty for the cause of helping to shape Abilene into a community in which they want to stay and thrive.

Click HERE to see a list of all the participants in this year’s leadership programs.

If you think you may be interested in being a part of Leadership Abilene or RISE, or if you are the parent of a student who would benefit from participation in the Youth Leadership Abilene program, call the Chamber or email Erica.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *