One of the most important factors in the success of any community is the quality of its leadership. Rohnert Park is fortunate to have dedicated, thoughtful and knowledgeable community members willing to lead for the benefit of everyone. Our city council, Planning Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission and numerous advisory boards including Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Senior Citizens Advisory Commission, Sister Cities Relations Committee, Golf Course Oversight Committee, Mobile Home Rent Appeals Board are all evidence of that stellar leadership.
Community leaders enhance the quality of life in other ways beyond direct city service – we have a vibrant Chamber of Commerce, active Rotary and 20-30 Clubs and a few terrific non-profits such as Neighborhoods Organized Against Hunger (NOAH) and the Educational Foundation. We also have many volunteers supporting schools, youth sports and other key elements that make Rohnert Park the great place it is.
Still, a city of our size can always benefit from having more residents ready, willing and able to take on leadership roles. With that in mind, last September we started Leadership Rohnert Park. The program includes twenty residents with varied backgrounds from all over town. Their common interest is making our community even better.
To support their development, Leadership Rohnert Park provided monthly trainings led by Coro Northern California. Coro is the nation’s preeminent organization for developing community leaders, with over 75 years of experience. Our Leadership Rohnert Park participants spent one day every month learning about key community issues, such as education, housing, public safety, business and health care. They heard from expert speakers and toured key sites.
In addition to learning about our community’s issues, the participants also improved their skills in group dynamics, critical thinking, listening to multiple perspectives and working collaboratively. And they did all of this while building relationships with each other and leaders throughout the community, strengthening a network of like-minded problem-solvers.
We are pleased that last Friday this class of twenty community leaders celebrated their graduation from Leadership Rohnert Park. The ceremony included a presentation on to improve the provision of health and human services in our community by working with the county and non-profits to address challenges such as transportation for seniors and the need for youth mentoring. To watch the video recording of the graduation, visit rpcity.org/LRP. There’s no doubt that you will be hearing more about their good work in the coming months.
For now, please join us in celebrating this important milestone in building a stronger community by congratulating the Leadership Rohnert Park Class of 2020: Tiffany Cazares, Cherie Chipman, Jackie Elward, Matt Epstein, Sonia Espino, Jenna Garcia, Maggie Grover, Jeannine Hernandez, Sandra Jaime, Micki Jones, Fanny Lam, Hugo Mata, Rosemary Mojica, Courtney O’Daniel, Anne-Marie Rodriguez, Silvia Rodriguez, Becky Sandoval Young, Penelope Thomas, Michael Thompson and Matt Valkovic,
And for those of you who might be intrigued by an opportunity improve your leadership skills, we invite you to complete the form indicating your interest at rpcity.org/LRP. The dates for our next class are to be determined given the challenges of the virus, but we are looking forward to continuing to build our community leadership capacity.