Written by Saxon Daugherty
The 2020 class of Leadership Venango reconnected for their first session of the program at Komatsu’s engineering office in Franklin to learn and discuss business and economic development in the region.
Komatsu’s Alan McBride opened the day with a presentation on the organization’s approach to leadership training, breaking down those who lead a function, those who lead leaders, those who lead others and personal leadership.
McBride also introduced how to create an accountability culture and incorporating progress tools, such as the Individual Development Plan (IDP) that can help employees improve their performance and meet both long- and short-term goals.
The class then heard from Frank Hajduk, the Branch Manager of SCORE’s Venango office, regarding economic development and strategic planning.
Hajduk provided an overview of America’s mixed economy, referencing the influences from capitalist and socialist dynamics.
The local economy revolves around having critical job centers with having useful resources readily availability.
Hajduk used the analogy of the cycle of water to describe how the flow of money and products impacts the local economy. This also stressed the importance of spending money locally and the Be Here initiative.
Wrapping up the morning was a panel of 2019 Leadership Venango graduates, including Randy Arnold, Lauren Lupinacci and Ashley Smith. The trio answered questions from the Class of 2020 and provided insight on their experience in the program.
Emily Lewis, the Executive Director of the Venango County Economic Authority, opened the second half of the day with a discussion on some of the most pressing economic development projects in the county.
At the top of the list is the transformation of the Oil City National Bank building into a multi-purpose facility including a brew pub and banquet space.
Lewis also highlighted the eAcademy at Venango, which launched earlier this year. The program is an extension of the highly-successful eAcademy program at Linden Pointe that fosters and encourages an entrepreneurial mindset.
The Venango County version specifically targets high school seniors.
The remainder of the day for the leadership class was spent touring several businesses in the area including Komatsu’s chain plant, Webco’s Reno facility, and Klapec Trucking.
Each organization provided an overview of what they do and gave the group a behind-the-scenes look at how they operate.
The next session will take place on Wednesday, November 13 at PennDOT’s District 1 office in Oil City with a focus on maximizing clean communications.
To learn more about Leadership Venango, visit leadershipvenango.org.