Business Community

Leadership NOW Kicks Off Fifth Cohort with 18 Genesee County Professionals

Eighteen local professionals have been selected to participate in Leadership NOW, an introspective leadership development program offered through the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Genesee County.

The participants selected for the fifth cohort, which kicked off Friday, Jan. 25 represent a wide variety of current and emerging leaders who work and/or live in Genesee County and have experience in the private, public or nonprofit sectors.

“Leadership development is not a passive experience,” said Steven Elkins, director of Member Services & Business Training at the Flint & Genesee Chamber.  “This program challenges participants to evaluate their strengths, identify areas where they would like to improve and make changes that move them closer to their full potential. It’s transformative on both a personal and a professional level.”

Over the course of the year, each participant will undergo in-depth leadership assessments, one-on-one coaching and 100+ hours of training. During this time, they will learn how to leverage different behaviors to effectively create a vision, develop followership, implement said vision and achieve results.

The cohort will work together to develop and implement a collaborative project with a focus on organizational or community enhancement. Past cohorts, for example, have helped a local nonprofit expand its offerings, assisted a neighborhood association in establishing a shared outdoor library and coordinated a networking event for youth professionals.

“Leadership NOW is designed for people who want to improve Genesee County through their leadership,” Elkins said. “Our goal is to help prepare them with the skills needed to transform this community.”

Participants in the fifth cohort include:

  • Gina DeShong (Mt. Morris), Information & Assistance Partner, The Disability Network
  • Nicholas Goldsworthy (Fenton), Attorney, Witt & Howard, PLLC
  • Cam Herth (Davison), Chief Administrator, Louhelen Bahá’í Center of Learning
  • Elizabeth Herth (Davison), National Statistics Officer, Bahá’í National Center
  • Sandra Johnson (Flint), Project Manager, Hamilton Community Health Network
  • Izzi Joseph (Lapeer), Communications & Public Relations Specialist, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
  • Leigh LaForest (Davison), Partnership Development Manager, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
  • Jennie Main (Grand Blanc), Engagement Specialist, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce
  • Tarnesa Martin (Grand Blanc), Nurse Manager, Hurley Medical Center
  • Christina Mitchell (Swartz Creek), Administrative Assistant, The Hagerman Foundation
  • Bermicia Parks (Flint), Business Intelligence Systems Analyst, Mott Community College
  • Kelly Price (Flint), Administrator, McFarlan Home
  • Sarah Scheitler (Flint), Corridor Alliance Manager, Flint River Watershed Coalition
  • LaVera Shields (Flint), Inspector, Antolin
  • Tiffany Stone (Grand Blanc), Medicaid Policy Deputy Director, Michigan Association of Health Plans
  • Tietricha Thomas (Grand Blanc), Director of Spirit Programs, Spring Arbor University
  • Kaneesha Wallace (Grand Blanc), Program Manager, University of Michigan Health System
  • Shelicia Wright (Grand Blanc), Nurse Manager, Ascension Genesys Hospital

This year’s program benefits from the support of Warner Norcross + Judd, a Michigan-based law firm that is sponsoring two of the cohort members through scholarships.

“We are grateful for the firm’s support and commitment to increasing leadership capacity in Flint and Genesee County,” Elkins said.

To learn more about Leadership NOW, visit

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