2019 Academy Graduation
Academy graduates, their guests, and alumni gathered at Village Hall on the Common for a reception in honor of the Class of 2019.
The graduation began with Executive Director, Helen Lemoine (1993) presenting a photo retrospective of the Academy year – starting with the opening retreat and highlighting each monthly program day. Graduates enjoyed reflecting on their experiences, and guests and alumni learned about the activities, places and topics that made up the Academy year.Class project team representatives presented overviews of their work…helping residents at Heritage/Assisted Living get ready for spring gardening season, a community cleanup in Ashland, and a weekend of volunteering for a Special Olympics Massachusetts event.
Diplomas were presented to each graduate with lots of cheering, laughing and fun memories.Leadership MetroWest is proud of this accomplished group of leaders from around the region who now become part of the impressive LMW alumni network.
2019 Annual Meeting
The 2019 Annual Meeting convened prior to the Class of 2019 graduation. Dave Welch (2016), Board Chair, officially opened the meeting and shared highlights of the year including two successful Alumni Breakfasts, and the “Alumni Encore” program. He thanked this year’s alumni donors, sponsors, grant funders, and the 2018-2019 Board of Directors. Then Dave called to the podium, Board member Susan Nicholl (2005) whose term expires at the end of June. Susan is District Liaison in the Office of Senate President Karen E. Spilka. She joined the Alumni Committee in 2005 as a new alumna and a few years later joined the Board and served as Clerk, and then Board chair from 2016-2018. For the past year Susan has served on the Governance Committee. Nobody has done more to help LMW thrive than Susan. She is a leader of leaders and an advocate, ambassador and mentor. The recognition was followed by the election of new 2019 – 2020 Directors.
Two names were recommended by the Board for nomination: Thom Begin (2018), Deputy Director, Parks & Recreation for the City of Framingham, and Aimee Siers (2018), Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway/Commonwealth Real Estate. Both were elected unanimously.
Spring 2019 Alumni Breakfast
The room was buzzing with alumni, the class of 2019, and guests considering the 2020 Leadership Academy, when more than 100 attendees gathered for networking, inspiring speakers and engaging conversations at the LMW Alumni Breakfast at the Hampton Inn-Natick.
The program featured two special guest leaders, Rev. Lois Adams (2009) and Brandale Randolph (founder,1854 Cycling) who shared their powerful, inspiring personal stories, and some twists along the way, and how it shaped them as people and as leaders.
During our signature Breakfast activity, “Engaging Conversations,” attendees talked about the seven leadership capacities (from the Academy’s Positive Leadership curriculum) that have been most valuable to them as they move through their lives & careers. So many new connections were made during the morning, and guests got a real sense of the value of the Academy & the alumni network.
Alumni Encore Program
Thirty alumni gathered for “Academy Encore” at MEMA Headquarters for a tour of “the Bunker” in Framingham. Encore offers alumni an experience reminiscent of an Academy day.
The tour began in the entry tunnel leading into the underground Bunker before passing through the “Blast Door.” MEMA’s Public Information Officer led the tour of the facility and then shared lots of information about the history of MEMA and the wide-ranging work they do.
A recent example of one of MEMA’s roles in coordinating inter-agency collaboration among state and local public safety officials was the Boston Marathon. Two of our afternoon panelists were part of the team working at MEMA on Marathon day.
After leaving MEMA the group traveled to Amazing Things Arts Center in downtown Framingham for lunch in the Art Gallery. The restored 1800s Firehouse includes a 120 seat performance stage and 2nd floor art galleries and meeting rental space.
After lunch a panel discussion with four public safety leaders: Lieut. Cara Rossi (2013), Natick Police Dept.; Col. Brett Conaway (2016), Army National Guard (and also Sgt.,Natick PD); Chief Steve Slaman (2011), Hopkinton Fire Dept.; and Sgt. Ed Burman, Ashland Police Dept. Each spoke about the most challenging public safety issues they face in their communities The panelists were happy to answer lots of questions too.
Fall Alumni Breakfast
The Class of 2019 started their October Academy day by connecting with alumni from around the region at the Fall Breakfast. More than 100 leaders laughed, learned and practiced improv techniques to improve leadership effectiveness.
An interactive workshop led by John Chenier (2018) Assistant Dean of Admissions at Framingham State University, and a 20-year veteran of improv theater and comedy, encouraged attendees to unlock their creativity and be present in the moment.
The workshop included an introduction to the basic tenets of improv — “Yes and,” “Offers and Accepts” (give and take), verbal and non-verbal communication, active listening, team work, collaboration, and trust.
John kept everyone laughing while they discovered how to apply improv techniques with teams, clients, customers, community and volunteer groups. Enthusiastic attendees described the program as engaging, uplifting, spirited, and valuable.