New year, new class for Verde Valley Leadership

Verde Valley Leadership class member Jill Clark:  VVL is an amazing program and is so much more than I could have imagined.  I am so glad to be a part of this class and I am very excited about the year ahead.”

Verde Valley Leadership class member Jill Clark: VVL is an amazing program and is so much more than I could have imagined. I am so glad to be a part of this class and I am very excited about the year ahead.”

This past weekend at the Mescal Canyon Retreat in Clarkdale, Verde Valley Leadership kicked off its 11th year of community leadership development with their annual two-day program.

Ten participants from throughout the Verde Valley aspiring to take their leadership skills to new heights attended and were guided through an intensive program developed and delivered by the Filardo Group and supported by the Verde Valley Leadership Board.

Monica Kuhlt, Sergeant, City of Cottonwood Police Department and Class XI member stated, "I didn't want it to end. Al and Jodie have left me wanting more. I was inspired by the way Al would challenge me to dig deeper within to not only identify my strengths but rather my weaknesses and push me to turn them into strengths and opportunities. I was intrigued by Jodie and Al's ability to create an environment of self-awareness, and then, how to use that self-awareness to improve upon our leadership - not only in our professional, but personal lives as well. It was sad to say goodbye to the weekend experience, but I am excited for what the rest of the year has to offer."

Class XI member Jill Clark, General Manager of Mi Amo at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona shared, "I have attended many leadership workshops and other leadership programs throughout my 30-year career, and I was worried that VVL was going to be the 'same old, same old'. This is absolutely not the case. VVL is an amazing program and is so much more than I could have imagined. I am so glad to be a part of this class and I am very excited about the year ahead."

Two of the six Founders of VVL, Al and Jodie Filardo of the Filardo Group are educated, experienced and certified in their fields of organizational development, coaching and economic development and have practiced and applied their leadership skills both in public and private entities in multiple cultures around the globe. Their degrees are from Stanford University, ASU, Webster University, and the University of San Francisco.

Through the remainder of the program year, the class members complete a Presentation Skills Course, field trips, shadowing days, and issue days organized by the participants to explore community issues such as education, economic development, criminal justice, and other regional issues.

Headed by member Mike Spitz of the Yavapai County Assessor's Office, Class XI will be working on a "Day of Service."

"This year we have added more emphasis on this component of the VVL Program," stated Board President Ellen Yates. In past years, one non-profit was chosen to receive a day of service from the Class and choosing the recipient was always a very hard decision. This year, Class XI will put their leadership skills to work to organize a full 'day of service' to their community."

"The impact VVL has had on all of us who have gone through the program can be seen by our continued involvement and support" says Past President, Kathy Wombacher. "The bonds created are pretty special. VVL graduates are always there to help each other out in both our professional and personal lives. If you need assistance with a project or you are looking for board members to join your cause, VVL graduates are there for you, and that is what VVL is all about."

Anyone interested in enrolling in applying for the next class of the Verde Valley Leadership Program, may contact Tammy Yoakum, Graduate of Class IX and President Elect of VVL at VVLPresidentelect@gmail.com for more information.

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