Leadership Tri-Cities plans next class to groom future leaders

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There’s a joke among Leadership Tri-Cities alumni that theirs was “the best class ever.”

And when the organization’s board members talk about incoming classes, they refer to them as “the next best class ever.”

The leadership group is now accepting applications for its “next best class” and planning an open house for those interested in learning more about the program that’s graduated 478 leaders since 1994.

It was the best thing I ever did.

Holley Sowards, Einan’s at Sunset

Over the course of a year, class members attend several sessions led by community experts focusing on the various sectors and industries shaping the region, including agriculture, human needs and services, economic development, law enforcement and the justice system, education, local and state government, medical and health services, arts and culture, and the Hanford site.

“Every single speaker that you hear, they are — most of the time — the most established (authority) in the community. They give you handouts of all the speakers and their numbers and email addresses,” said Holley Sowards, a member of the Class of XVIII.

Sowards recalled being told how Leadership Tri-Cities would be “life changing,” and at the time thought, “how canned.”

But, she’s now a believer. “It was the best thing I ever did,” she said.

“It really is an amazing experience. I have connections and I have met so many people. I would have worked so many years to meet those people,” she said.

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Kristina Lord

Kristina Lord

Kristina Lord has more than 21 years of journalism experience and has been editor of the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business and Senior Times since July 2016. She spent more than 17 years at the Tri-City Herald and also worked at weekly newspapers in Prosser, Grandview and Yelm. She’s a longtime member of the Society of Professional Journalists’ William O. Douglas chapter and a board member of Warrior Sisterhood, a Tri-Cities Cancer Center support group. She and her husband have two young daughters and they live in West Richland.

View all posts by Kristina Lord