Newberry Observer

Talking Leadership at Governmental Association

WHITMIRE — Leaders coming together to find out what the greatest needs in Newberry County are, that is what Cynthia Vannerson said Leadership Newberry County is all about.

Leadership Newberry County is a program through the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce and is a learning experience that focuses each month on different topics. Vannerson, director of sales at the Hampton Inn, is a member of the program.

During the Governmental Association Meeting in Whitmire Monday night, Vannerson talked about Leadership and how they are working to learn more about Newberry County.

“There are five mayors in Newberry County, and Leadership divided up and we did go and talk to the mayors. I had the pleasure of speaking with Newberry’s mayor, Foster Senn, and then with Whitmire’s mayor, Mr. Hollingsworth,” she said. “Our other leaders reached out to the other mayors to try and find out what was working in their towns, what wasn’t working, what would they like to maybe bring about or start doing to benefit the county as a whole.”

In one of those meetings, Leadership discovered the Free Clinic in Newberry has shingles for a new roof, which they need, but do not have them on the roof.

“They need somebody to come and put them on,” Vannerson said. “We are finding out about these small little needs that are things we can easily do, that are obtainable.”

Vannerson explained that there are 20 individuals in Leadership, and each meeting they learn about a new aspect of Newberry County. The first meeting was their orientation and health and human services.

“When we did health and human services that is when we brought in all the information from the mayors and what was needed in their towns. There was quite a bit of need, some were small and some were great,” she said. “Some that we mentioned here in Whitmire include a need for doing youth and senior programs to get them more involved, and we talked about vandalism. Some of the other towns, they are trying to improve their parks. There are other needs going on, some might be repairs, might be more programs to educate our families.”

Their second meeting was emergency services and law enforcement. Vannerson said during that meeting they learned about the Diving Team, met Percy (the City’s drug dog) and got Coroner Laura Kneece’s perspective.

Future topics the group will explore include economic development, education, communities and government, agriculture and arts, recreation and tourism.

“As we go through we are looking for a project that is going to benefit Newberry County as a whole. When we come together in June, for our graduation, we will go back over everything we’ve done and at that point in time we will decide what we are going to do,” Vannerson said. “We want the project to benefit all of our towns in Newberry County.”

When it comes to Leadership, Vannerson said it does not take anyone specific, it takes anyone willing to make a change in their community.

“That is the reason I joined Leadership, I wanted to make a change and set an example for the three boys I have raised. I want them to learn what community is all about,” she said.

Other Business

• The Government Association approved sponsoring two girls for Girls State.

Cynthia Vannerson discusses Leadership Newberry County at the Monday Governmental Association meeting. Vannerson discusses Leadership Newberry County at the Monday Governmental Association meeting. Andrew Wigger | The Newberry Observer

By Andrew Wigger

Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.