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Local Leaders Weigh In: Leadership Santa Maria Valley

Each month, we’re asking our local leaders to weigh in on a timely topic. This month, we’re talking to our graduates from the Leadership Santa Maria Valley Class of 2023. As the program concluded, we asked participants to reflect on their greatest lessons learned, most enjoyable moments experienced through LSMV, and plans for the future.Here's what they shared: 

“Going through the LSMV program was a very subversive experience. Learning about major aspects of what makes Santa Maria Valley function and thrive was an extraordinary opportunity. From the history of its founding to the agricultural and business economic contributions to the community and their impact. Leaders of the Santa Maria Valley provided insight into city goals and current community concerns, by collaborating with organizations and businesses to develop Santa Maria into a thriving future. One of the most impactful aspects of the LSMV progam was the connections and friendships made with my classmates. What has changed after the LSMV program is the importance of giving back and investing in our community's leadership and future. As a class, LSMV had inspired our class to give back and we are excited to make a positive impact through collaborations and community engagement in the years to come.”

- David Hernandez, Hispanic Business Development, Santa Maria Valley Chamber

“The LSMV program has been inspirational in my journey to becoming a more involved leader in our community. Participating in this progam opened my eyes to all the good things we have going on, as well as to many ways our community can support each other. The program's structure really motivates people to network outside of their normal scope and creates a chance to foster long-term connections with many leaders. ”
- Sarah Johnson, Human Resource Generalist, KSBY-TV

“The LSMV program has changed me personally as well as professionally. I've learned how important and essential community involvement truly is. The impact on our community's decision-making is solely based on those who participate. This program has inspired me to become more involved in making the Santa Maria Valley as great as we all believe it is. I've recently joined the Elks Rodeo Team Committee and the Boys & Girls Club of the Mid Central Coast 2024 Gala Committee, helped with CALM's Ladies Get Loud event, and became St. Mary's Auction Chair. ”
- Joyce Melena, Health Information Technology Trainer, Community Health Centers
“The future of our community is in great hands with the young leaders in our community. This leadership program was a great place to network with our classmates and various mentors. For me, the element that had the greatest impact on my growth was planning and organizing the program topic days. These task helped me work on my own areas of personal growth, while giving me the opportunitiy to collaborate with our classmates, connect with local leaders and create these fun, valuable days.”
- Roberto Rodriguez, Chief Growth Officer, Boys & Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast


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