The Development of Leadership Warren County

Leadership Warren County is co-sponsored by the Warren Regional Partnership (WRP), the Warren County Development Association (WCDA), and the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry (WCCBI) and is housed at WCCBI.

The planning for Leadership Warren County began in December 2006 when members of the Warren Regional Partnership (WRP) met with project consultants from PA Futures.

Formed in 1997 through the auspices of the Warren County Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters of Warren County, the WRP is a group of civic and community-minded citizens whose purpose is to devise community-wide strategies and plans of action that will help create responsible economic growth, vitality, and wealth. In an effort to support and improve the overall quality of life, WRP seeks to identify and solve problems in the Warren regional community.

Members of the Warren Regional Partnership were concerned with what must be done to engage the entire community to coordinate resources to enhance the quality of life and vitality of Warren County and they were concerned about the future civic leadership of our community. Thus, they began discussing the need for a leadership program to grow new generations of leaders. Clearly, one of the most critical ingredients in the successful future of a community is the continued quality of its civic leadership. Our researched showed that in excess of fifty-one Pennsylvania communities had recognized this civic imperative and instituted leadership programs. In addition, there are hundreds of programs across the country. The WRP board members decided that if Warren is to succeed and compete in the global economy, it must develop its human resources and enhance the quality of life. The idea for Leadership Warren County flowed from that premise.

The WRP began by inviting other community leaders with varied skills, interests, and experiences to sit around the table to brainstorm what this program should look like, and thus, the Leadership Warren County Steering Committee was formed. The committee decided that the program should seek to prepare participants, in a meaningful and comprehensive way, to take the leadership baton. To that end, several sessions were held between January and May to develop a proposal to circulate to local foundations. Then, the steering committee began fine-tuning the curriculum and putting the plan in motion.

The Steering Committee is gratified and honored by the substantial financial and in-kind support the program has received from the following local foundations and businesses: the Community Foundation of Warren County, the DeFrees Family Foundation, the Whirley Foundation, the Highmark Foundation, Northwest Savings Bank, the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry, National Fuel, and the Warren Public Library.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~Margaret Mead