Members of Leadership Dawson’s Class of 2011 visited the Georgia State Capitol on April 12. The day-long trip was part of the required curriculum to familiarize participants with the workings of state government.
Though it was a busy day 39 of the session, the students were able to meet with the Dawson County legislators, as well as Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.
The class visited the gallery of both the House and Senate and witnessed the approval of several bills. State Rep. Amos Amerson joined the group during a private catered lunch and gave a briefing on some of the key legislative issues.
“The trip was a wonderful experience,” said Angela Harben of K.C. Fuller & Associates, a class participant. “We met state leaders from Mr. Cagle our lieutenant governor to Mr. [Brian] Kemp, secretary of state, and the speaker of the house, Mr. [David] Ralston. They were all so nice and welcomed us with open arms. Mr. Kemp even took the time to take our whole class back into his office and meet with us and that was a great experience to have.
“It was also very nice to be able to sit in on the legislation and listen to the senate bills and watch those men and women hard at work passing bills for the citizens of Georgia,” Harben said. “Overall it was an eye opening experience. I hope that classes in the future have the opportunity to experience this as we did.”
Leadership Dawson was established in 1992 as a joint program between the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and the local University of Georgia Extension office. More than 150 local citizens have graduated from the program.
This year’s class has 26 potential candidates up for graduation in May.
Over the years the program has expanded to include an overnight retreat that includes words of wisdom from current local leaders and interactive team-building exercises.
The trip to the Capitol and local tours also highlight the experience. Other sessions are in a classroom setting.
Participants not only learn leadership skills, but in addition become familiar with the needs and opportunities for service in Dawson County. Some of the topics covered are local demographics, economic development, communication and education.
To learn more about Leadership Dawson or to apply for the next class, call the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce at (706) 265-6278. Sponsorships for the program are available.