Leadership Boyle 2019 grads recognized

The Danville City Commission recently recognized 14 citizens who graduated from the 2018-2019 Leadership Boyle County Class.The city issued a citation commending the class for  its dedication.

Brittney Adams, Kinsey Hisle, Brian Hutzley, Jeff Jewell and Jamee Peyton were on-hand to represent graduates, and accepted a citation and pins from city commissioners.

“If you don’t know anything about the program, it’s a great program,” said Hutzley. He moved to Danville about two and a half years ago to work at Centre College.

“This is a great way to experience the community, everything you can imagine — and some hard things to learn about what’s happening in the community, and certainly some great things,” he said.

Jewell is the director of the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the leadership academy. He said he learned more than he imagined he would.

“Not only is it run by the chamber, but I got to do it this year strictly as a participant. David Phelps did a great job of running it — it’s awesome,” Jewell said. He said he highly recommends it for anyone who’s interested, but said the academy takes dedication.

“… It’s a year-long commitment, but I learned so much about our community. And I’ve got to tell you, coming out the other end of it too, you realize what a really special place we all live in,” Jewell said.

Mayor Pro-tem J.H. Atkins, who was filling in for Mayor Mike Perros on Tuesday, said both he and Commissioner Kevin Caudill were reminiscing about their Leadership Danville Academy days, and called it a rewarding experience.

The citation calls the academy an “outstanding educational program that develops high caliber citizens who are well-informed about the equality of life and the infrastructure of their communities.” The city says Leadership Boyle County is a “vital link in promoting the overall success of the communities” within the city.

After the meeting, Hisle took some time out to discuss why she decided to join the leadership class. Although she graduated from Centre College, she moved away for a couple of years before returning to become youth services librarian for Boyle County Public Library. She said the community was welcoming to her as a student, and she wanted to learn more about it.

“I was expecting to learn more about how the community supported one another and played a part in our regional area, but I found out how our businesses and organizations operate on a national and global level, as well,” Hisle said. She said with each day’s focus area, she learned a lot more about the people “who are working hard to make it better for everyone.”

She said one of the biggest benefits about the academy is getting the chance to tour facilities and meet people she may otherwise not have come across in her own line of work. “At the end of each day, I felt inspired …”

Hisle said out of the curriculum, two of her favorites topics were health and human services, and arts and culture. She was able to take in panel discussions, ranging from poverty to abuse across all ages of people in need, for instance.

And she says she loved touring arts organizations and taking in the “vibrant” art community. “It showed me how talented our artists are” and also encouraged her to take in more events and shows in order to support them, she said.

Every person who spoke made me proud of what our community already offers and inspired me to help them do more,” she said.

As far as why anyone would want to dedicate a year of their life to Boyle Leadership, Hisle said it’s eye-opening.

“I think we all focus a lot on our own corner of the community that we interact with the most …” she said, and the leadership class can open someone’s world up to numerous connections.

Hisle said whether participants are native or relocated here, she feels they all walk away knowing and appreciating the community more.

“Professionals will learn more about their own areas of work, too, and how they can support others to make our community stronger,” Hisle said. “I wanted to go through it so I can be a good leader and citizen.”

The rest of the 2018-19 Leadership Boyle County graduating class is Patten Mahler, Susan Matherly, Julie McAllister, Katy Neyhouse, Dalton Southerland, Nicole Sparks, Nate Stewart, Lena Tate and Blake Thompson.

To find out more about Leadership Boyle County, visit danvilleboylechamber.com.