Class of 2013: 24 Strong Leaders for a Strong Bangor Region

What a year it’s been for the class of 2013. From the intense work on their nonprofit projects to facing their fears on the high ropes course, this class has shown nothing short of amazing work. It all came to a close at their graduation ceremony on May 9th, where all 24 of them were officially recognized as BRLI graduates and applauded for their hard work.

BRLI’s 2013 curriculum was designed to give participants an in depth look into the regional economy, encompassing everything from transportation to energy, education to healthcare, and entertainment to City services. A number of expert panelists, behind the scenes tours, and presentations ensured this year’s class was offered a first-hand look into the business makeup of our community. But BRLI doesn’t just offer an in-depth look at what surrounds us, it offers participants an in-depth look at themselves. Thanks to a variety of leadership and teambuilding exercises, participants were able to walk away with a heightened self-awareness and ability to work more effectively as leaders. A special thanks to Kathy Hunt, who led most of these exercises, and was key to the leadership development of the class.

An instrumental part of the curriculum is our annual nonprofit partnerships. This year, BRLI partnered with the Bangor Public Library and the Penobscot Theatre Company. Class members worked with the organizations to address challenges and opportunities and move their respective missions forward. Specifically, the Penobscot Theatre group created a plan to leverage the Theatre’s 40th Anniversary, plan a celebration around the occassion, and increase support and subscriptions for the Theatre. The Libary group created a plan to boost the Library’s fundraising and marketing efforts and keep the Library relevant and integral to the community moving forward.

As is tradition, the class wraps up every year with the “facing challenges” session at the high ropes course. Participants are faced with a number of high ropes obstacles to complete, which is no easy task at 30 or 40 feet in the air. But what occurred is probably the most telling element of this program: an inspirational display of team support and leadership. When someone thought they couldn’t get through an element, 23 friends where there to offer encouragement, allowing every participant to truly face their challenges and succeed.

Congratulations to members of the class of 2013: Barbara Dunakin, PCHC; Bonnie Melanson, Bangor Savings Bank; Dan Pittman, Eaton Peabody; Hayley Gilman, MetLife; Jamie St. Clair, Key Bank; Jason Clay, Governor’s Restaurant; Joel Farley, EMMC; John Belding, UMaine AMC; Katrina Mumford, EMCC; Kevin Peterson, Bangor Hydro; Kirsten Ismail, UBS Financial; Kristen Card, Husson University; Lynn Doughty, John Bapst; Maren McGillicuddy, Nickerson & O’Day; Matt Donahue, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine; Melanie Klein-Robbenhaar, Husson University; Melissa Huston, Good Shepherd Food Bank; Michael Elliott, Lighthouse Web Solutions; Natalie Degerstrom, Girl Scouts of Maine; Patrick Hughes, Hughes Associates; Peter Philbrick, Coffee News; Stacie Buzzell, People’s United; Tricia Peterson, EMHS; Vanessa Madore, Maine Savings FCU.

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