The annual Missouri Leadership Graduation & Alumni Event was held on October 19 in Columbia, bringing past and present participants together from around the state to celebrate the graduation of the 2017 class. University of Missouri System President Mun Y. Choi was the special guest and keynote speaker.
In his address Choi challenged the new graduates to impart their strengths to the next generation, especially in the area of education.
“Your commitment to professional development, your commitment to charitable contributions and most importantly, your commitment in helping to train the next generation of leaders in the state is so critical,” Choi said.
“We treasure this program,” said Dan Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber. “We think it’s the best thing we can do from our education foundation to continue getting people involved and understanding what’s going on in our state, no matter what political stripes you have or where you’re from – urban, rural – it doesn’t matter. We’re all Missourians.”
Headed by Brian Crouse, the vice president of education at the Missouri Chamber, participants attended a series of seven monthly, two-day sessions where they met with Missouri’s current leaders, traveled the state and participated in panel discussions, presentations and service projects.
“In each city we were in, each region, we found a need and we addressed it – from giving to food pantries, to serving kids at Ronald McDonald house in Kansas City, to providing items for the STEM education in my hometown of Springfield, to 5,300 books in Warrensburg for the PTA,” said Shanda Trautman, the 2017 class president. She also spoke about opportunities for ongoing improvement in education as well as areas such as infrastructure and socioeconomic growth. “We will come together as a team to address these issues and we’ll lead with innovation, compassion, enthusiasm and collaboration to impact and create a better Missouri for our fellow Missourians.”
Founded by the Missouri Chamber Foundation, Leadership Missouri aims to identify current and emerging leaders throughout the state, enhance their leadership skills and deepen their knowledge of the state’s opportunities and challenges. All proceeds from this event went to the LMA Scholarship Fund to help small business leaders and non-profit organization executives attend future programs at a reduced cost.