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Hello Franklin: Leadership Somerset- Two Decades of Leadership

Post Date:01/24/2019 4:59 PM

Hello Franklin!Leadership Somerset: Two Decades of Leadership

picture of leadershipLeadership Somerset will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with the Class of 2019. Leadership Somerset is an 11-month community leadership program for adults who live or work in Somerset County. Program fellows learn about community issues and opportunities through engaging in leadership activities. The program was established and sponsored by Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Partner organizations include the Somerset County Business Partnership, Raritan Valley Community College and the United Way of Northern New Jersey.

Denise Katula has been the manager of Leadership Somerset since 2009. Her area of concentration is on the Leadership Development Model. The Leadership Development Model includes topics like Strategic Thinking & Planning, Business Results, Leadership & Management, and Personal Effectiveness. These topics focus on creative ideas, establishing goals as they relate to operating budget requests, communicating, and effective ways to utilize talents to run a successful project.

“Our hope for the new leadership class is that through being curious and not being certain, they will find that thing that ignites their passion to lead,” stated Denise Katula, manager of Leadership and Talent Development for Leadership Somerset.

To give students an opportunity to learn these leadership skills, each session includes classroom style presentations led by experts who are elected officials, public sector officials, corporate and non-profit executives, and community leaders. Program fellows also visit places to get the inside view of the topics covered as they relate to Somerset County.  Fellows are required to complete two projects: the first project is completed either individually or in a small group. The second project is completed with the class. These projects are derived from ideas given by community agencies and organizations to assist fellows in finding what they are most passionate about. Some examples of Leadership class projects include: renovating a kitchen at the Agape House, a homeless shelter organized by Volunteers of America and building a domestic violence awareness campaign organized by Safe+Sound Somerset.

Leadership Somerset students were selected through the application process completed in fall of the previous year. Leadership Somerset Class of 2019 fellows meet once a month from JanuaryClass leadership onward from 8:15 am to 4:30 pm. During these meetings they network with community leaders to learn how to make a positive impact in the Somerset County community. Program fellows will utilize Somerset County resources and learn from industry experts about government, economy, housing, justice, public safety, human services, arts, history, environment, diversity, lifelong learning, and health. They will also learn the importance of networking, building leadership skills, and formal and informal decision-making. These skills have been utilized throughout the program by past Leadership Somerset fellows that worked on projects for CareerBridge, Improving Our Image, Adult Day Center, Center for Great Expectations, Samaritan Homeless Interim Program (S.H.I.P.), Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children-Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties, Alternatives, Inc. and Middle Earth.

leadership logo  somerset cty

To learn more about Leadership Somerset classes and  Leadership Somerset community service projects, please contact Denise Katula through email at: or by calling her at 908.231.7020.

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