gmhTODAY Fall 2021 October-December 2021 | Page 70

A Leadership Minute ...

Local Leadership is Alive and Well

by Mike Sanchez and Giovanni Albanese Photos by Leadership Gilroy and Leadership Morgan Hill

The South County is a great place to live , work and play . It also provides many incredible opportunities for volunteerism and community service — with Leadership Morgan Hill and Leadership Gilroy two of the programs championing the effort to make the region great , providing training and opportunities for residents to serve .

Those opportunities , when realized , enrich the lives of those volunteering or stepping into community service , and impact our communities — our families , friends , and neighbors — for good , making the South County a better place for all .
Like most other businesses and organizations on the planet battling the COVID-19 global pandemic , the leadership programs in the South County have had to innovate , adapt and pivot their way through the uncertainties of shifting mandates , cancelled fundraisers , and shrinking budgets . Since the pandemic shuttered up much of the country — the South County included — in mid-March 2020 , the programs took different paths , and for good reason . Their decisions were specific to their communities and programs . The different paths taken prove that leadership is not one-size-fits-all , but there is usually more than one good choice to be made .
In both communities , the programs are led by passionate , community-minded individuals who are also proven leaders in their respective endeavors . They serve as board members , advisers , staff and facilitators . Through their collective leadership , vision and courage , they have managed their programs through a global shutdown .
Here ’ s a look at Leadership Morgan Hill and Leadership Gilroy ...

Leadership Morgan Hill class of 2020 started in person , went fully virtual and finished with a hybrid session . For their project , the class completed a children ’ s area at the city ’ s community garden , which includes a gazebo , table and benches for classroom learning and workshops .

The area is filled with colorful artwork including painted wall art welcoming children to the garden , a picket fence with children ’ s likenesses painted on the panels , and a pathway of painted pavers . The completed project is a wonderful addition to an amazing community garden .
Due to the mandates at the time , the class of 2021 would have been a virtual-only class . The board decided that rather than risk a less-than-great experience for students , they would postpone the class until 2022 . The class will begin in January with 22 participants enrolled . Currently three open spots remain . For more information visit : leadership morganhill . org .
Founded in 1995 with a mission to “ inspire leadership and service for a better Morgan Hill ,” the board looked for opportunities to serve the community in lieu of a full program in 2021 . The outcome was a series of webinars that covered hot topics within the community , serving as a refresher for past classes and information for the public .
Due to its success , the series has been extended to include a candidate forum during the 2022 election cycle . In September , Leadership Morgan Hill hosted their Leadership Excellence award dinner , honoring Cricket Rubino for her contributions to the community . The event , held at Guglielmo Winery , was a huge success with more than 200 people in attendance .
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