Laura Snider graduates today from the Leadership Franklin County class that she has been attending for the past nine months. Graduation takes place at Neosho Community College today from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM CT. Laura and the rest of her class present their final reports on what they’ve taken from this class while also being recognized for completing the course. The ceremony includes a complimentary lunch. This year’s Keynote Speaker is Dr. Reggis Wenyika, Ottawa University President.
above: Laura Snider receiving her diploma during graduation.
Laura first heard of the class through her involvement with the Ottawa Area Young Professionals (OAYP) group she is a part of that is connected with the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce. She’s heavily involved in the community here and was eager to find ways to be more involved. However, it was Loma Vista Nursery’s Vice President and Laura’s boss, Lyndsi Oestmann, who not only got Laura to enroll in the class, but also sponsored her in this endeavor.
When asked why she wanted to sponsor Laura, Lyndsi says, “Our company, Loma Vista Nursery, stands for growth through education, whether it be for our customer, team, or industry, but particularly for our team members. We are trying to create a legacy and presence here in Ottawa, and Laura is the perfect person to help do that because she is from here and already involved in the community. Sponsoring Laura in this class helps our involvement in the community by giving one of our most valuable team members even more leadership experience and exposure to the community.”
above: Laura volunteering with Loma Vista to plant shrubs and perennials by the Old Depot Museum in Ottawa
The class is a program that the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce has created by partnering with Ottawa University and Neosho Community College for residents and employees of businesses in Franklin County. For nine months, the class meets once (sometimes twice) a month to learn leadership skills and to take field trips to different businesses and organizations. They even went to the capital in Topeka one day for a class. Students are also required to attend a certain quota of board meetings and also log a certain number of community service hours in order to complete the course.
Laura has enjoyed her time in the Leadership Franklin County class. “I loved getting to meet new businesses and attend board meetings,” Laura says, “and I was able to learn about so many different leadership styles.” For one of her last projects, Laura had to narrow a list of thirty different leadership styles and qualities down to the three she thought applied to her most. “I am most excited that this class has given me an opportunity to get even more immersed into this community that I love. I hope to keep the ball rolling by volunteering more and getting involved with more boards and organizations.”
above: Laura during the graduation ceremony.
There is no doubt in Lyndsi Oestmann’s mind that Laura will continue to grow and flourish in the Ottawa community and continue to represent Loma Vista Nursery well. Lyndsi and Leanne Follett, Loma Vista’s Director of Human Resources, are attending Laura’s graduation in celebration of her achievement for not only graduating from the course, but for excelling in the course along the way.