Chip Minemyer | Putting leadership lessons in motion

Speaking on the topic of management styles at a forum organized by Leadership Centre County, State College entrepreneur Todd Erdley offered advice for those who strive to succeed at all levels.

“Be the person you’ve dreamed of being,” Erdley said, “not the person you’re assigned to be.”

Members of the LCC Class of 2013 are working well beyond their assignments, dreaming big and raising money to support the new Centre County Children’s Advocacy Center in Spring Township.

The project evolved from the class members’ shared belief that the welfare of children in the wake of the Sandusky scandal represents the region’s most pressing issue.

Each year, LCC brings together about 30 area professionals who study the county’s history, culture, economy and social issues while exploring and building their individual leadership qualities. It’s an excellent program.

Driven by a desire to put those leadership lessons into action, LCC 2013 developed a project to raise money to support the children’s center, and also to provide “sweat equity” to help get the important mission up and running.

Class members will don work clothes and head to Bellefonte on Sunday to help with final touches at the new facility, which is expected to open later this month.

The Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) will provide young victims of sexual abuse with a place to meet with law-enforcement representatives and pediatricians in a safe environment.

The goal is to streamline a very difficult process.

I’m a member of the 2013 LCC class, and I’ve been amazed at the vision and hard work from a diverse collection of local professionals who are moving this project forward. I get to be just another class member digging in to plant a tree and help with a meaningful project.

The class is raising money in a number of ways, including applying for grants and reaching out to community organizations. Bellefonte and Penns Valley Kiwanis clubs already have made donations to the cause.

In addition, LCC 2013 is working with Mount Nittany Medical Center to host an online furniture auction that runs through Nov. 6.

The hospital donated items that had been moved to storage during a series of remodeling projects. The inventory includes office chairs, bookcases, end tables, cabinets, conference tables, desks — even two Murphy-style hideaway beds.

You can view the items now at www.auctionzip.com/Listings/1938936.html, or visit Hurley Auctions ( www.hurleyauctions.net). LCC alumna and area auctioneer Tammy Miller helped put the auction together, donating her time and considerable expertise.

She and LCC 2013 class member Amy Caputo discussed the auction and the children’s center project on WBLF’s morning radio show Tuesday.

Class member Marlene Stetson, of Mount Nittany Medical Center, is leading the online auction effort. She initially raised the possibility of working with the CAC after seeing how the Mario Lemieux Foundation enhanced the children’s area at the Mount Nittany emergency room.

Other class members have contributed in a variety of ways, bringing together skill sets from areas such as sales, banking, children’s programs, education, construction, human services, project management and media relations.

At that same leadership forum, held Monday in the hospital’s auditorium, Youth Service Bureau CEO Andrea Boyles, LCC Class of 2010, noted the importance of diverse team members contributing to the overall success of a group or project.

“Everybody matters,” Boyles said. “Everybody has really important duties in our organization.”

Boyles and Erdley, founder of the company Videon Central, joined state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte, on the forum panel.

The “Leadership Lessons Learned” session was led by LCC 2013 class member Emily Reddy, news director and producer with WPSU-FM and Penn State Public Broadcasting.

Erdley echoed Boyles’ thoughts: “Leadership, to me, is really about understanding what people have as capabilities.”

The children’s center project is moving forward with support from LCC Executive Director Georgia Abbey and the LCC board, which gave its blessing at the outset.

The class needs your help, too.

Tax-deductible donations to the effort may be made at www.leadershipcentrecounty.org. Or, you might consider placing a bid on a desk or wall hangings up for auction. Every penny will go to the CAC.

We’re told this is the first time an LCC class has worked on an ongoing project after the year of training and learning together had ended.

We hope it’s not the last.