On June 10, the Chamber honored the Leadership Columbia Class of 2013-2014 during a banquet and graduation ceremony held at the Palmetto Club. The ceremony marked the culmination of a 10 month journey for the Leadership Columbia graduates. In addition to participating in monthly class days that focused on topics ranging from economic development to education, the graduates dedicated their time, talent, and resources to the completion of their class project at The Hearth Center for Eating Disorders (“The Hearth”). Over a four month period, the class renovated a 2 bedroom/1 bathroom cottage and planted a healing garden on the grounds of The Hearth. The 58 class members contributed over 1,100 volunteer hours and secured in-kind donations valued at over $100,000 from generous community partners.
In his keynote address, Chamber President & CEO Carl Blackstone challenged the Leadership Columbia graduates to leave their community even better than they found it. LC Advisory Board Chair Brooke Bailey and Chair-Elect Nick Haigler presented each class member with a graduation certificate and a pin to commemorate their induction into the Extraordinary Leaders of the Midlands (“ELM”) Society. Membership in the ELM Society is an honor bestowed only upon graduates of Leadership Columbia.
To conclude the program, the graduates added a little levity to the ceremony by awarding over 20 superlatives to their fellow classmates. The superlative categories included “Best Hair,” “Best, Laugh,” “Most Likely to Appear in a Reality TV Show,” and “Most Likely to Run for Political Office.” From the cheers and laughter of the graduates, it was apparent that each had a truly unforgettable Leadership Columbia experience.
To view photos from the Graduation, check out Facebook.