Leadership Nanaimo

"Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to make something extraordinary happen,” said Alan Keith, Lucas Digital. This quote encapsulates what Ken Hammer, along with community leaders, sponsors, and organizations have created with the inaugural launch of Leadership Nanaimo.

Leadership Nanaimo is a community based leadership program aimed at improving the overall social and environmental condition and economic performance in our community. Leadership Nanaimo has chosen community leaders and organizations from the public, non-profit, and private sectors and combined them with seventeen community leaders to form Leadership Nanaimo.

The program kicked off in September at Tamagawa University in Cedar. I speak for all of us when I say we were all delighted with the quality of service we received from Travis Cote and staff at Tamagawa. The weekend was a nice way to take like-minded people out of their busy lifestyles to enable a connection that will benefit each other and the community in a long lasting way.

Our latest meeting, which is one part of nine monthly meetings aimed at fostering leadership qualities within the participants, was another great success. We looked at systems thinking within our community and ourselves, priority community issues, key community resources, and "best practices” in collaboration and coalition building.

A few of the core community issues we identified and analyzed were the downtown revitalization, crystal meth problems, sustainable development, affordable housing/ homelessness, environmental, and youth related issues such as unemployment, education, and drugs. We identified a few best practices/ community resources were: service organizations, community leaders (government, private, non profit, and public), networking, planning, Government (elected officials and understanding systems), Malaspina University/ College, Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, the media, and volunteers.

While the program will install leadership qualities in each and every one of us we will have the fortunate opportunity to practice hands on. The group is broken into three groups, each with the goal of completing a community-orientated project. The following projects are: Crystal Meth Task Force, Child Development Center Awareness Campaign, and a Junior Achievement Program.

If you have any comments or input into Leadership Nanaimo please email the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce at chamber@nanaimochamber.bc.ca

Chris Cathers works with Business Vancouver Island and Communication Ink in Nanaimo. His email is chris@cathers.ca