The 2019 Class of Leadership Venango met on December 12 at the PennDOT District Office in Oil City. The fourth session of the nine-month program focused on various aspects of interpersonal and professional communications.
James Foringer, the District Executive of PennDOT District 1, started the session by giving an overview of PennDOT’s vision, mission and what District 1 is responsible for in Northwestern Pennsylvania.
Jillian Harry, PennDOT District 1 Community Relations Coordinator, then gave a presentation on communications with and through local media partners. Jill provided her perspective as a former reporter on what types of media are present in this region and what kinds of information media outlets are seeking.
Ashley Cowles, program manager at the Venango Chamber and co-owner of Core Goods in Oil City, then provided tips and strategies for using social media to market your business and communicate with customers. The class learned a great deal about branding, algorithms and how to manage multiple social media platforms.
The class enjoyed lunch at the Venango Museum where they had the opportunity to meet two sponsors of the program. The team projects were discussed and the students unanimously agreed that the program provided a great value to them all.
Susan Hileman, Strategic Business Advisor for Northwest IRC, provided the afternoon presentation on effective communications. The class learned about communication structures, channels and barriers. An emphasis was placed on the importance of active listening, with several exercises to teach the class methods to become better listeners. Also discussed were the differences in the cultures and perspectives of the five generations present in the workforce today.
The next session is scheduled for January 9 at UPMC Northwest, where the class will focus on leading a healthy community. For more information, visit leadershipvenango.org.
This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s January 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.