MT. VERNON — The newly revamped Leadership Academy will kick off Oct. 17 with a special conference on using social media as a marketing tool.
Organizers say this year's program has a brand new format, featuring two “Hot Topic” sessions in addition to the regular Academy. The overall program is now called SparkU.The emphasis this year is on exploring cutting-edge topics that will be of great interest to small business owners, said Michaela Scattone, marketing assistant for the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.“We think it'll be really exciting and beneficial,” Scattone said. “We're focusing on things people find very interesting, that they do every day in business. … I just think it's going to be really motivational and inspirational for anyone who attends.”The Chamber's Educational Clearinghouse Council hosts the Academy each year as an instructional tool for the business community.New this year are the Hot Topic forums, which are single-day events on different subjects.Organizers hope residents who can't commit to the full Academy will find time to attend one or both of the Hot Topic sessions, Scattone said.The first session is called “#success: Maximizing Social Media For Success.”It will be presented by Clint Eilerts of the Arthur Agency in Carbondale and will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Muni-West Building.The second Hot Topic forum is called “Burned Out or Fired Up? Engaging Employees to Benefit Your Organization.”It will be presented by Amy Andrews-Emery, senior director of talent development and retention at Community Health Systems. The seminar is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 14 at Crossroads Community Hospital.The regular Leadership Academy, now called Leadership 101, starts in early 2014. It will include three sessions on the following topics — teaming and collaboration, conflict and communication, and effective and efficient meetings.Sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 16, Feb. 20, and March 2, at Kingdom Seed Ministries, Inc., 118 N. Ninth St.The presenters will be Monte Jo Clark of Kingdom Seed Ministries and Ina Grade School, and Tammie Henry of Kingdom Seed Ministries and the Illinois State Board of Education.Residents who have attended past Academy sessions can still come to the new seminars, Scattone said. Organizers have tried to make this year's topics fresh and interesting, she said.“There won't be any redundant material,” Scattone said.Each Hot Topic session costs $95 for Chamber members and $110 for non-members. If you attend both workshops, the cost is $150 for members and $175 for non-members.Leadership 101, including all three sessions, costs $300 for members and $350 for non-members.Those who complete Leadership 101 will receive a certificate and personalized padfolio.For more information on how to register, contact the Chamber at 242-5725.