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Leadership Program Prepares Future Leaders

by ChamberECT

Thanks to a renovation project completed by the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT’s Leadership Program Class of 2018, clients at Madonna Place in Norwich are better equipped to connect with each other as families. It is one way the Leadership Program has benefited the eastern CT community.

The Chamber’s Leadership Program is a two-year program which exposes eastern CT’s promising leaders to a variety of issues that affect our communities, businesses, and the public. Participants spend their first year in the program learning about the region’s healthcare industry, educational programs, judicial system, modes of government, tourism, media, economic development, and other topics through monthly day-long sessions in which they meet with business and community leaders and get a first-hand glimpse into how their respective industries operate.

Near the end of their first year in the program, participants undertake a community project to apply what they have learned in order to benefit a non-profit in need.

In their second year, participants work in small teams to plan and facilitate the sessions for the following year’s class. The program concludes with a graduation ceremony in the early summer.

During and following this experience, participants are better able to serve their community through access to a robust network, a working knowledge of how the region operates, and improved leadership skills.

The Leadership Program Class of 2018 considered fourteen project proposals before settling on Madonna Place’s physical renovation project. Madonna Place is a Norwich-based nonprofit that provides services to strengthen families, promote health, and help to prevent child abuse and neglect. Their project was selected on the value that the renovation project would have on Madonna Place’s clients and the ability of the class to satisfactorily perform the work requested.

Renovations included painting the shared family spaces, installing new flooring, updating fixtures and appliances, adding more storage and custom furnishings, adjusting the layout, and providing a deep cleaning. These improvements help provide a dignified atmosphere for Madonna Place’s clients and gives families a relaxed, comfortable space to connect with each other. Better family bonding time translates to better mental health and reduced instances of families becoming fractured.

Funding for the Class of 2018’s renovations came from individual donors and businesses, including the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC), Chelsea Groton Bank, Ocean Blue Catering, Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, the Coastal Gourmet Group, Digital Insurance, and Dime Bank, among others. Total funds raised for the organization were $8,590, as of press.

Do you want to develop your leadership skills, or know of a colleague who does? Applications are now being accepted for the Class of 2019. For more information about the Leadership Eastern CT Program, call (860) 701-9113 or visit

The Leadership Program Class of 2018 is made possible through the generous support of Eastern CT State University and Connecticut College. The class of 2019 is supported by Atlantic Broadband.