Leadership San Juan Islands gearing up for 2011 class

Preparation for the next Leadership San Juan Islands class is now underway.

Leadership San Juan Islands (LSJI) is a county-wide program which helps participants develop leadership skills such as facilitation, collaborative problem solving, and public speaking and builds an understanding of the many different “systems” such as governance, economics, social services, history and culture, education and the environment that make our islands unique. Participants are selected in the fall and spend five months together, January through May, with LSJI staff, alumni, and many regional leaders.

Anyone between the ages of 19 and 109 is encouraged to apply. The deadline to submit applications is Nov. 12.

There will be an open house and informational session on Wednesday, Oct. 13 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Heartwood House, 70 Langell Lane, Eastsound.

Program Coordinator for Class VII is Marta Nielson of Orcas Island.

“We are very fortunate to have someone of Marta’s caliber taking the reins for the program, and I look forward to the fresh perspective she will bring to a program that has grown a stable foundation with the graduation of six classes,” said LSJI Coordinating Council Chair Kyle Loring.

Nielson will work closely with the Curriculum Development Committee led by former Program Coordinator, Cynthia Stark-Wickman from San Juan Island.

Businesses and agencies across the county play a part in the success of Leadership San Juan Islands. Last year’s program appreciated significant donations by Smuggler’s Villa and Heartwood House on Orcas, Lopez Islander Bay Resort on Lopez, and Harrison Suites/Tucker House on San Juan Island. Many Class VI participants were sponsored in part or wholly by their employer or by a local nonprofit.

Anyone interested in participating, sponsoring, or getting more information about this dynamic Leadership program can contact Marta Nielson at 376-2786 or visit the LSJI website at www.leadershipsanjuanislands.org.