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High School Students from 10 Counties to Attend First Leadership YOUth Summit

Leadership Middle Tennessee Youth SummitNashville, TN – High school delegates from 10 middle Tennessee counties will convene at Belmont University on February 11th, 2012, for Leadership Middle Tennessee’s first-ever YOUth Summit.

While most of the 36 delegates have participated in youth leadership programs within their individual counties, this will be the first time student representatives from across the mid-state will gather to participate in a single event. During the daylong summit, delegates will present information about their respective counties, hear expert speakers address topics that will impact the future of the region and engage in networking sessions with their peers.

Leadership Middle Tennessee is a regional institute founded in 1999 to foster a higher degree of knowledge, perspective and interaction among various community political and civic leaders. The YOUth Summit has been organized and coordinated by members of the Leadership Middle Tennessee Class of 2011. Information and event resources are being provided by Cumberland Region Tomorrow, a private, non-profit, citizen-based regional organization that works with public and private entities to proactively plan for the future livability and economic vitality of the middle Tennessee region.

Organizers envision that the Leadership Middle Tennessee YOUth Summit can become an annual event to introduce and promote common topics of regional interest to high school youth leaders. Student delegates were selected by adult sponsors of the local youth leadership programs. The adult sponsors will also participate in the YOUth Summit, which will be staged at Belmont’s Inman Health Sciences Building.

The keynote speaker for the event is Bethel (Bo) Thomas, Vice President for University Advancement at Belmont University. Thomas is the author of the book “Real Dream Teams” and has contributed writings to The Wall Street Journal, National Business Employment Weekly and International Journal of Consultation. Prior to joining Belmont, Thomas directed his own consulting group specializing in organizational development, leadership, change management and team learning.

“Having gone through the Leadership Middle Tennessee program in 2010-2011, our class members felt there was a great opportunity to bring some of our region’s outstanding youth leaders together for a full day of information gathering and interaction with their peers,” said Rob Lyons, president of the LMT Class of 2011, and who is City Manager for Murfreesboro. “By furthering these bright students’ knowledge about topics that affect our entire region, they will be better equipped to understand and help shape the mid-state’s future.”

The YOUth Summit’s primary coordinator is LMIT Class of 2011 alumnus Shanan Poss, a Robertson County resident and Channel Business Manager with Roche Diagnostics. “This summit has been designed to expose delegates to a carefully selected list of regional topics, encourage them to share thoughts on common issues and to provide a motivating experience for each individual delegate. We feel the delegates’ experiences will be of great value to them personally, but will also foster greater shared vision and cooperation among future leaders of our region.”

The cost of the YOUth Summit is being underwritten by contributions from LMT alumni, with the majority of funding from the Class of 2011. The Patron Level sponsors for the YOUth Summit are Custom Packaging of Lebanon (Jackie Cowden, president); Belmont University of Nashville (Bob Fisher, president) and BLF Marketing of Clarksville and Murfreesboro (Jeff Bibb, managing partner).

Delegates for the 2012 YOUth Summit and their respective counties are:

  • Cheatham County: Rachel Bowman, Paige Mathews;
  • Davidson County: Erin Charatelli, Pirlye Bamson, Hannah Gardner, Rachel Waters;
  • Dickson County: Riley Dotson, Grace Gilliland, Seth Gilliland, Emma Ragan;
  • Maury County: Kyle Kilgore, Kaitlin Mears, Christopher Jackson, Robert Thomas;
  • Montgomery County: Lauren Bone, David Degon, Emery Dunn, Ashley Williams, Sara Ellis; Robertson County: Jordan Gregory, Kayla Yates, Jay Siske;
  • Rutherford County: John Gleason, Scott Turner, Mikaela Keene, Kelsey Dempsey;
  • Sumner County: Jeiel Ballard, Travis Grant, Ike Lynn, Suzanne Taylor;
  • Wilson County: Jonathon Ferrell, Shelby Maxwell;
  • Williamson County: Tyler Portanova, Margo Pefanis, Alex McKee, Ross Hildabrand.

Adult sponsors and their respective counties are:

  • Brentwood County: Martha Allard;
  • Sumner County: Van Hohe, Mark Lancaster;
  • Robertson County: Jordan Osborne, Kathy Finely;
  • Rutherford County: Lee Rennick;
  • Davidson County: Mary Hart, Kyndyll Lackey;
  • Maury County: Bill Aslup

Leadership Middle Tennessee Mission Statement

The mission of Leadership Middle Tennessee is to broaden the regional perspective of diverse and proven community leaders. Through networking, collaboration, and strategic thinking, we are committed to developing regional leaders who can contribute to long-term solutions that sustain and balance the quality of life and economic growth for our collective unique communities.


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