Walton Area Chamber Hosts Graduation for 2019 Class of Leadership Walton at Embassy Suites by Hilton

The 2019 class of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Walton program graduated on Monday, May 13, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton after a nine-month curriculum consisting of various professional and leadership development programs. Founder, President and CEO of the Chick-Fil-A Franchise, Robb Schiefer, served as the speaker for this year’s graduating class providing an insightful and enthusiastic look at Leadership Economics.

The 2019 graduating class members are: Adam Yates, City of DeFuniak Springs; Amy Walsh, Fore Her; Casey King, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, LLC; David Hatfield, Walton County Fire Rescue; Haley Horkman, Visit South Walton; Isabel Lluberes, Hill Coleman CPA; Jay Evans, Main Street DeFuniak; Jeff McVay, Visit South Walton; Jenni Brunson, Okaloosa Gas; Johnny Jordan, Walton County Sheriff’s Office; Katrina Heuss, ResortQuest Real Estate; Katyna Weeks; Lisa Foster, Visit South Walton; Michelle Garrison, Early Learning Coalition; Michelle Riegner, DAG Architects; Nick Hazama, Land Air Sea Productions; Nicole Cuchens, Walton County Tax Collector; Kyler Weant, Keller Williams Realty; and Zoe Mathews, The Pearl.

The goal of Leadership Walton is to provide a group of select professionals with a more in-depth understanding of how the Walton County area functions to expand their knowledge of local issues and the skills needed to address them. With a trip to Tallahassee for this year’s legislative session, along with tours of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, County Jail, and County Courthouse, the graduates gained understanding of how state and local governments are organized, regulated, and how they can drive communities forward under exemplary leadership.

Additional course curriculum included both the Birkman and LeaderGrade Assessments, “Dale Carnegie: Skills for Success” training course, as well as an additional overnight retreat to begin the program with respected leadership coach, Anne Margaret Kelly. In addition, each student was assigned a mentor through the Chamber’s Mentoring Emerald Coast program to serve as a resource for both personal and professional development. Four additional attendees were also honored for their completion of the 2018-2019 Mentoring Emerald Coast program including Caroline Boone, 30A Realty; Tracy Louthain, Newman-Daily Resort Properties; Taylor Sheekley, Proffitt PR; and Megan Waldstein, Reli Title, LLC.

Each Leadership Walton class is tasked with a project to improve an aspect of the local community. The class project of the 2019 Leadership Walton class was to build a quiet study room in the DeFuniak Library in order to provide a space for students to utilize computers with reliable internet access and additional study materials while completing their schoolwork and other tasks.

Leadership Walton is a program of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce. Each course consists of multiple leadership and professional development seminars and courses. Recruitment for the 2019-2020 class of Leadership Walton is open. If you would like more information about this topic or are interested in participating in Leadership Walton as a student or mentor, please contact Gabrielle Kilgore-Woods at 850-892-3191 or email at gabrielle@waltonareachamber.com.