Information from Kathy Gillenwaters and Amanda Meixel Kinghorn
Members of the Leadership Oak Ridge program recently finished a project that provides enhancements to the American Museum of Science and Energy. The multi-offering project was made possible through numerous volunteer hours from participants and generous donations from local businesses, a press release said.
Additions include a new outdoor seating area, landscaping, and beautification installations, the press release said.
“The new gathering area was a project of particular importance and filled a need that existed since AMSE’s location change last year,” the release said.
AMSE now has outdoor classroom space, transition space for rotating large groups through the educational facility, and seating for the bus tour that departs from the building nine months of the year. The project also included new landscaping and beautification pieces that enhance the visual appeal of Oak Ridge’s expanding Main Street area, the press release said.
Leadership Oak Ridge is a program designed to inform current, potential, and emerging leaders about the city’s strengths and challenges.
“The ultimate goal is to facilitate greater civic involvement and empower participants to identify and implement solutions to community issues,” the press release said. Each year, program participants work together to complete a class project.
“As a group, we sought out opportunities where we could assist a local organization that makes an impact in our community,” said Richelle Ballenger, Leadership Oak Ridge 2019 participant and class project steering committee member. “With science and education being key pillars of Oak Ridge, we felt like this was a great investment to aid such an important resource for the region.
Financial contributions from local businesses made the idea into a reality, the press release said. ORNL Federal Credit Union provided the largest donation, while many others contributed to enable the full scope of the project. Those companies and organizations include Centrus, Consolidated Nuclear Security, Enrichment Federal Credit Union, Explore Oak Ridge, Home Depot, Isotek, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, RSI EnTech, Realty Executives, Smithbilt Homes, UCOR, Willow Ridge Garden Center and Landscaping, and Y-12 Federal Credit Union.
The 2019 Leadership Oak Ridge class recently celebrated the completion of this year’s program, which 39 people completed. They had a ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 6.
The participants had 12 full days of sessions during 2019. Session topics included education, economic development, social services, health care, government, and many other timely topics in the community, the press release said.
As a capstone for the year-long program, class members work together to develop and implement a community project. The project conducted by the 2019 class included the outdoor gathering place and exterior beautification improvements in the entry area at AMSE.
The 2019 class graduates were Keith Atkins, City of Oak Ridge; Wendie Aurin, Realty Executives/Altrusa; Pam Baldwin, ORNL Federal Credit Union; Richelle Ballenger, Tennessee Members 1st Federal Credit Union; Susan Borthwick, U.S. Department of Energy; Heather Brown, Staybridge Suites/Holiday Inn Express; Robin Brown, Y-12 Federal Credit Union; Mike Cavacos, Methodist Medical Center; Laurie Dreyling, Isotek; Angela England, The Preserve/Smithbilt Homes; Ashley Golden, ORAU; Tilley Hayes, Explore Oak Ridge; D.T. Hobby, Oak Ridge Schools; Laura Hofman, Roane State Community College; Chelsea Hubbard, U.S. Department of Energy; Kevin Ironside, UCOR; Sonya Johnson, UCOR; David Kitzmiller, Celebrate Oak Ridge; Amanda Leopper, U.S. Department of Energy; Nick Luciano, UT-Battelle/ORNL; Kathleen Lyon, AMSE; Steve McAtee, ORNL Federal Credit Union; Matt McCallister, Pediatric Clinic; Amanda Meixel, CNS Y-12; Dawn Millican, ORNL Federal Credit Union; Tony Odel, Centrus Energy; Mike Pearson, Uranium Processing Facility/National Nuclear Security Administration Project Office; Mike Pressnell, Isotek; Jim Ratliff, Oak Ridge Housing Authority; Nathalie Schmidt, City of Oak Ridge; Lily Seabolt, City of Oak Ridge; Stephanie Slosser, RSIEnTech; Allison Solomon, Y-12 Federal Credit Union; Byron Souza, Isotek; Barbara Ward, Isotek; Jan West, CNS Y-12; Ben Williams, U.S. Department of Energy; Samantha Williams, Enrichment Federal Credit Union; and Jessi Wolbert, U.S. Department of Energy.
The mission of Leadership Oak Ridge is to inform current, potential, and emerging leaders about Oak Ridge and its issues, and provide them leadership skills development in order to empower them to identify and implement solutions to those community issues, the press release said.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 program. You can visit www.oakridgechamber.org or email Greta Ownby at [email protected] for more information or to submit an application.
Leadership Oak Ridge is the flagship program of the Center for Leadership and Community Development. It is one of the longest continually operating community leadership programs in the country, the press release said.
“Graduates are challenged to find their passion and commit to making a difference,” the release said. “They can be found on virtually every board in our community including the arts, charitable groups, government, and education.”
This press release was submitted by Kathy Gillenwaters of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, with additional information and photos submitted by Amanda Meixel Kinghorn of CNS Y-12.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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