DiSC assessment: A roadmap to your management style

The DiSC assessment measures a person's traits according to Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness.

The DiSC assessment measures a person’s traits according to Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness.

One of the highlights of the two-day Leadership Hancock County retreat, which begins Sept. 14, is the DiSC profile discussion. DiSC is a well-known system of analyzing a person’s personality and leadership style. Organizations use DiSC to gain insights into their team members’ strengths. At the team-building retreat, the Class of 2017-18 will use the assessment as a tool in identifying their own key attributes.

The students recently answered a series of questions in an online survey. DiSC plugs those answers into a matrix of characterizations to determine where the person sits on DiSC spectrum: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. They will receive their assessments during a seminar on Sept. 14. The LHC project was supervised by Pam Kinslow, a talent management director at Community Health Network. Chad Chalos, a Community Health consultant, will present the results during the seminar.

Chad’s presentation will focus on the insights behind the results. For example, what does it mean to be a “high D”? Through the presentation, students will learn how team members’ varied strengths can be used to achieve success. Every successful organization features strong performers of all four types, and such diversity of style makes for a vibrant workplace.

The DiSC assessment has been a cornerstone of the Leadership Hancock County retreat since its founding in 1996.

Meet our scholarship winners


Stephanie Haines (left) and Renee Oldham, winners of Leadership Hancock County scholarships for 2017-18.

Stephanie Haines (left) and Renee Oldham, winners of Leadership Hancock County scholarships for 2017-18.

Renee Oldham already has put down some new roots. Now, she’s looking forward to growing into her new leadership role in Hancock County.

A longtime resident of Wayne County, Renee gave back to her community in a variety of positions over the years. When she and her husband moved to McCordsville a year ago to be closer to their children, it was only a matter of time before she found some similar opportunities. She reached out to town manager Tonya Galbraith. She volunteered to help her homeowners association. And she was hired as executive director of the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation.

Renee, a member of the Leadership Hancock County Class of 2017-18, was selected by the LHC board of directors to receive the annual Nancy King Scholarship, which helps underwrite a deserving enrollee’s tuition for the program. The scholarship was established by one of the program’s founders.

The King Scholarship was one of two scholarships awarded for members of the new class, whose studies begin with a two-day retreat starting on Sept. 14. Stephanie Haines, a barista and columnist for the Daily Reporter, received a donor scholarship underwritten by Hancock Regional Hospital. Stephanie was runner-up in the board’s King Scholarship voting.

In awarding the King Scholarship, the board noted Renee’s initiative to help make a difference in Hancock County. Leadership Hancock County seeks to identify emerging leaders, and Renee certainly fit that profile in the board’s view.

“As a new resident, I want to become more involved with my new community, learning new perspectives, the history, challenges and opportunities for our county, how it functions and developing new connections and learning new skills,” she wrote in an essay. “I believe participating in Leadership Hancock County would allow me the opportunity to achieve those objectives enabling me to give back thru projects and or organizations. It would give me a better understanding on where our county has been and where it is going.”

Stephanie, who lived in Bloomington for a number of years, recently moved back to Greenfield, where her family has longtime roots. She works at Litterally Divine Chocolates in Indianapolis. She already is starting to get involved in the community — she plans to be involved with the Riley Festival in October — and looks at Leadership Hancock County as an essential resource to learning about her community and connecting with stakeholders.

“I can’t get those things on my own,” she wrote in her essay. “I feel there’s no way this class couldn’t help me, as there is so much I need to learn how to do: inspire, lead by example, fulfill commitments, communicate interpersonally, and the practical side of how to make things happen.”

Renee, Stephanie and their 22 classmates will learn about the importance of team-building during their September retreat, which will be held in the GBC Community Room at the Hancock County Public Library. Topics will include consensus-building and problem solving. Class members also will study their personal leadership styles via the DiSC profile system. An expert will present the results of class members’ questionnaires to them on the first day of the retreat, Sept. 14.




Roster set for Class of 2017-18

Twenty-four emerging leaders will start their studies on Sept. 14-15 at the team-building retreat. The class features people from a wide variety of backgrounds. If you know anyone on this list, congratulate them for being part of the Class of 2017-18!

Maria Bond, director of community relations, Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation

Alex Bush, marketing manager, Medicap Pharmacy

Chris Carter, graphic designer, Hancock Health

Cara Fields, digital compliance manager, Elanco Animal Health

Angela Flench, finance director, Indiana Department of Transportation, Greenfield district

Stephanie Haines, barista, Litterally Divine Chocolates and columnist for the Daily Reporter

Christy Harpold, social worker, Greenfield-Central Community School Corporation

Jason Hua, dental director, Jane Pauley Community Health Center

Kelly Leddy, client service manager, MainSource Bank

Jena Mattix, children’s librarian, Hancock County Public Library

Courtney Miller, patient outreach coordinator, Jane Pauley Community Health Center

Renee Oldham, executive director, Mt. Vernon Education Foundation

Diane Petry, Life Choices Care Center

George Plisinski, telecom operations manager, NineStar Connect

Nick Riedman, I.T. director, city of Greenfield

Staci Starcher, utility department supervisor, town of McCordsville

Tracy Sweet, director of business operations, IU Health

Linda Thakrar, technical services manager, Hancock County Public Library

Diana Trautmann, marketing brand manager, Elanco Animal Health

Jason Wells, RN education, Hancock Regional Hospital

Adam Wilhelm, nursing administration/clinical education department supervisor

Stephanie Wilson, strategic administrative support, Hancock Physician Network

Stacey Wixson, trust officer, Greenfield Banking Co.

Gregory Woods, vice president, commercial loan officer, Greenfield Banking Co.

LHC board welcomes new members

New board members are (from left) Dede Allender, Jennifer Frye, Debbie Grass, Summer Grinstead and Nicole Mann.

The Leadership Hancock County Board of Directors has five new members. All of them are 2017 graduates of the Leadership.

The new board members are:

Dede Allender, who works for CGS Services. Dede is also the coordinator for the Hancock County Solid Waste Management District.

Jennifer Frye, deputy clerk-treasurer for the city of Greenfield.

Debbie Grass, a teacher at Eastern Hancock High School.

Summer Grinstead, an administrative assistant for the city of Greenfield.

Nicole Mann, practice manager at the Jane Pauley Community Health Center.

The new members replace five board members who are leaving: Edgar Moore, Libbie Day, Susan Davis, Alana Lashaway and Maribeth Vaughn.

The board of directors meets monthly and oversees the Leadership Hancock County program.

Enrollment opens for Class of 2017-18

People who want to nurture their leadership skills and build their leadership network can enroll in the 2017-18 class of Leadership Hancock County, which will convene this fall.

The class begins with a two-day team-building retreat on Sept. 14-15. It meets each month after that through March for an intensive study of leadership development that includes modules on local history, government, business, and key community issues. Two full class days are devoted to studying leadership styles and the importance of communication in effective leadership.

The deadline to enroll in this year’s class is Aug. 7. Class size is limited, so it’s important to enroll early. A link to the application and class calendar is below.

2017-18 Application LHC

Class of 2017 celebrates its accomplishments

Members of the Class of 2017 line up to receive their plaques on graduation night. The event was held at the NineStar Connect conference center in Greenfield

Members of the Class of 2017 line up to receive their plaques on graduation night. The event was held at the NineStar Connect conference center in Greenfield.

The 25 members of the Class of 2016-17 graduated during a fun-filled celebration on May 3.

The ceremony and dinner capped eight months of study for the class, which began its studies last September and finished with its community project presentations before 125 friends, family members and other supporters.

Laurene Lonnemann, a marketing professional at Elanco Animal Health, won the Stacia Alyea Excellence in Leadership Award. The honor is determined by a vote of the class and goes to the class member who best exemplifies leadership qualities. It is named after a late member of the original class of 1996.

The class had been divided into six project teams. Here are the teams and a summary of their projects:

Team Alternatives: Rachel Cremeans, Aaron O’Connor, Summer Grinstead, Robert Harris and Rachel Dennis. The group organized and put on a 5K walk/run to raise awareness about sexual assault. The event raised more than $3,000 for Alternatives Inc., a nonprofit that advocates for victims of domestic violence.

Team Backpack: Jennifer McMillan, Debbie Grass, Jennifer Frye and Jennifer Stanley. The group developed an inventory control system for Backpacks for Hope, a nonprofit that provides backpacks filled with supplies for homeless people.

Team Landing: Mike Graf, Nicole Mann, Mike Schull and Monica Sexton. The group developed a website for The Landing Place, an organization that works to help young people battling addiction. The web site launched the week after graduation.

Team Library: Lisa Thompson, Rob Caird, Marie Felver and Susie Coleman. The group created a sustainability plan for Little Free Libraries around Hancock County. The book kiosks are being placed in prominent spots such as parks and places where people congregate. One of them even has a geo cache for those who like to hunt down tagged locations.

Team Mural: Laurene Lonnemann, Cindi Holloway, Regina Jackson and Dede Allender. The group assembled a list of artists and researched the history of buildings that have been identified as potential sites for building murals in the Greenfield historic district. The histories will be used to inform the theme of the artwork on the buildings.

Team Garden: Kate Brown, Matt Davis, Teresa Smith and Kimberly Sombke: Working with a $1,300 grant from Home Depot, the group built a “sensory garden” in the courtyard at J.B. Stephens Elementary School in Greenfield.


Robert Harris (right) tells the audience about Team Alternatives' successful fundraiser April 8. Other members of the team were (from left) Summer Grinstead, Aaron O'Connor, Rachel Dennis and Rachel Cremeans

Robert Harris (right) tells the audience about Team Alternatives’ successful fundraiser, which was held April 8. Other members of the team were (from left) Summer Grinstead, Aaron O’Connor, Rachel Dennis and Rachel Cremeans

Debbie Grass and Jennifer Frye, members of Team Backpack, present packages of supplies to the organizers of Backpacks of Home, Cathy Matthews (back to the camera) and Jim Matthews (seated in foreground).

Debbie Grass and Jennifer Frye, members of Team Backpack, present packages of supplies to the organizers of Backpacks of Home, Cathy Matthews (back to the camera) and Jim Matthews (seated in foreground).

Members of Team Landing (from left), Mike Schull, Mike Graf, Nicole Mann and Monica Sexton, discuss building a new website for The Landing Place.

Members of Team Landing (from left), Mike Schull, Mike Graf, Nicole Mann and Monica Sexton, discuss building a new website for The Landing Place.

Some class members offered some dramatic flair for their presentations. One group brought Fatheads. Team Mural, on the other hand, donned artist costumes to present their work on adding murals to buildings in Greenfield. Team members were (from left) Laurene Lonnemann, Cindi Holloway and Regina Jackson. The fourth team member, Dede Allender is not visible in this photo.

Some class members offered some dramatic flair for their presentations. One group brought Fatheads. Team Mural, on the other hand, donned artist costumes to present their work on adding murals to buildings in Greenfield. Team members were (from left) Laurene Lonnemann, Cindi Holloway and Regina Jackson. The fourth team member, Dede Allender is not visible in this photo.

Team Library members Rob Caird (left), Marie Felver, Lisa Thompson and Susie Coleman read from a children's book during their presentation on Little Free Libraries.

Team Library members Rob Caird (left), Marie Felver, Lisa Thompson and Susie Coleman read from a children’s book during their presentation on Little Free Libraries.

Team Garden members (from left) Matt Davis, Kimberly Sombke, Kate Brown and Teresa Smith discuss the outpouring of financial and volunteer support for their project, a "sensory garden" at J.B. Stephens Elementary School

Team Garden members (from left) Matt Davis, Kimberly Sombke, Kate Brown and Teresa Smith discuss the outpouring of financial and volunteer support for their project, a “sensory garden” at J.B. Stephens Elementary School.

Team breaks ground on school sensory garden

Sensory garden work day 032117

A team of volunteers began work on March 21 to transform the courtyard at J.B. Stephens Elementary school into a sensory garden.

Members of the 2016-17 Leadership class brought all their planning to fruition when they began work on a “sensory garden” March 21 at J.B. Stephens Elementary School in Greenfield.

The garden, which is being built in the school’s courtyard, is one of six community projects being undertaken by the class. Volunteers from Home Depot and the school — including students — turned out to do some of the landscaping in preparation for adding plants later this spring. The Home Depot Foundation contributed $1,300 toward the project. Jimmy John’s in Greenfield provided food.

The sensory garden was the brainchild of class member Matt Davis, who is principal at the school, 1331 N. Blue Road. Davis is also a member of the project team. Other team members are Kate Brown of Hancock Regional Hospital; Teresa Smith of Hoosier Hear Gear in New Palestine; and Kimberly Sombke of Buck Creek Flooring.

A schoolwide project will begin this spring to add visual art to the entrances of the courtyard. Everyone at the school will make a sun-catcher, thanks to a contribution from the Greenfield-Central School Foundation. The school also will work with Hancock County Master Gardeners to identify plants to adorn the garden.

The sensory garden will have features that fit with each of the senses: touch, taste, smell, seeing and hearing

Team Garden will present a report on its community project at the Leadership Hancock County graduation on May 3.


Graduation set for May 3

With their classwork behind them, members of the class of 2016-17 are working on their community projects and pointing toward their graduation from Leadership Hancock County.

On Wednesday, March 8, the board of directors of Leadership Hancock County set the calendar details for the class graduation. The celebration will start at 5:30 p.m. on May 3 in the conference center at NineStar Connect, 2243 E. Main St., Greenfield.

The class finished the classroom portion of its studies on Wednesday, March 1. Leadership II Day featured presentations from a coach from Dale Carnegie in the morning; and an afternoon session led by Hancock Regional Hospital CEO Steve Long on situational leadership.

The topics were a fitting conclusion for the 25 class members, who received pointers on public speaking that will help them when they present the results of their community project during the graduation ceremony. They also learned an important aspect of effective leadership: adapting a leadership style to fit the environment and/or to get through to a person you seek to influence.

The class was held in the conference center at the Wortman Cancer Center on the campus of Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield.


Class unpacks a leadership tool kit

The beads rattling around in the bottom of their plastic cups were mostly the same color: white. Clearly, members of the class of 2016-17 quickly confirmed, their community, their workplaces and their neighborhoods — and even those they hire to handle their car repairs — generally look a lot like them.


Class members Laurene Lonnemann (standing), Cindi Holloway and Aaron O’Connor participate in a diversity exercise.

That tide of white beads wasn’t to illustrate any shortcomings. Rather, it sought an answer to a question at the center of a presentation to the class as part of its Leadership I Day on Wednesday, Feb. 1: How diverse is my personal universe?

The seminar, presented by Lakshmi Vavilala, a diversity coach at Elanco Animal Health, sought to encourage the class members to tout inclusiveness in their organizations. The best-run organizations, she said, celebrate differences in their workforces. So do the most welcoming communities, which thrive when everyone feels valued, she said.

But diversity sometimes is elusive. That’s where the beads came in. As part of an exercise, Vavilala asked the class a dozen questions about the ethnicity of their circle of friends, co-workers and others. They dropped a bead in their cups as they answered each question. A white bead stood for a white person, for example. A black one represented an African-American, a yellow one an Asian person, and so on.

At the end of the exercise, there were very few beads of color in any of the cups. Lesson learned.

Vavilala, who was born in India and speaks four languages, suggested the class think of diversity as a batch of ingredients: “…the unique perspectives and differences that exist among people in a group.” In the best organizations, she said, that fertile mix is used to create something great: inclusion, or “the ability to leverage differences in the workplace to enhance innovation and break-through thinking.”

Vavilala’s diversity seminar was one of several studies on important leadership tools the class heard. Here’s a summary of the rest of the class’s day:

Partnering with media: Executives from the Daily Reporter gave the class some tips on working with their community newspaper. From tips on advertising to pointers on how to submit a news release, the session was designed to introduce the emerging leaders to a valuable community resource.

Crisis communications: Jen Schmits Thomas, a PR professional from Indianapolis, provided a blueprint for how to deal with public relations disasters. As they take on more responsibility in their organizations, Schmits pointed out, the future leaders one day will have to confront unpleasant news in their workplaces. How they react to it might be the difference between ugly public headlines and a sensible in-house resolution. In an age when every social media post has the potential to go viral, it’s important to react quickly and honestly, she told the group.

Social media pointers: Andy Wilkins, digital sales manager at the Daily Reporter, walked the class through the basics of setting up and maintaining Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Laws of Leadership: Gary Halliburton, a 2010 graduate of Leadership Hancock County, gave a lively talk on the “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” a book by leadership guru John C. Maxwell.

The Feb. 1 class session was the sixth of seven class days for the class of 2016-17. It next meets on March 1. After that, the class members will work in earnest on their community projects with an eye toward presenting them at their graduation on May 3.


Class gets introduction to local government

Armstrong Fewell et al

Making presentations to the Class of 2016-17 on Government Day were County Commissioner Brad Armstrong (left in top photo) and Mayor Chuck Fewell. Also speaking to the class were (bottom, from left) Maj. Derek Towle of the Greenfield Police Department; Hancock County Sheriff Mike Shepherd; and Chief James Roberts of the Greenfield Fire Territory.

If you want to make a positive impression on Judge Dan Marshall, it will help if you dress nicely and address the bench respectfully.


Judge Dan Marshall

Sweat pants and casual greetings won’t get it done.

Judge Marshall, who presides over Hancock County Superior Court 2, was one of a dozen leading officeholders and department heads who spent time with the Leadership Hancock County class on Government Day, held on Wednesday, Jan. 4.

The class, the fifth of seven sessions for the Class of 2016-17, served as an introduction to the basic workings of government. But class members also heard some keen — and occasionally humorous — insights about our court system, public safety and the administration of local rule.

Marshall, speaking to the 25 class members from inside his courtroom at the Hancock County Courthouse, told the group that decorum is important to him. As the overseer of the vast majority of criminal cases in the county, Marshall runs a tight ship. And that means people appearing before him should conduct themselves accordingly. For example, he urges defendants and others to dress as if “they’re going to church.” T-shirts with inappropriate slogans or images — or sweat pants — probably aren’t going to win much favor from the county’s busiest judge. They likely will get an admonishment and be urged to dress differently next time.

“If you’re here for a marijuana case,” the judge said to laughter, “You shouldn’t come to court wearing a T-shirt with a marijuana leaf on it.”

The students heard several similarly interesting anecdotes and observations throughout the day, which was organized by LHC board member Bobby Campbell, who served as day chair. Another LHC board member, Dianna Hawkins, also served as a day chair.


Debbie Harris of the animal management department

The class learned, for example, that Hancock County Animal Management is still battling misconceptions about its mission. Debbie Harris, an official at Animal Control, pointed out that the city-county shelter’s euthanasia rate has dropped significantly over the past several years. People still ask, she said, whether the shelter puts down animals because of space constraints or because they remain at the shelter for too long (it doesn’t in either case).

Some other interesting tidbits from the class’s day:

During a tour of the Hancock County Jail, Campbell, a captain at the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, pointed out a new body scanner that will be used to detect contraband being smuggled into the jail. This, he said, will improve the jail’s intake process and increase security.

Hancock County is paving more miles of roads thanks to better management of resources and an influx of funding, County Commissioner Brad Armstrong told the group. “Eight years ago (when he took office), county roads were turning to gravel,” Armstrong said of the plight facing the county highway department. “We spent a good six years making cuts, working diligently with department heads” to maximize the county’s resources, he added.

More tornado sirens might be installed in coming years if Hancock County Emergency Management is successful in obtaining grants to pay for them, Misty Moore, head of emergency management, told the class during its visit to the county’s emergency operations center on South Franklin Street. The majority of the county’s two dozen or so sirens don’t work reliably, so fixing them is a priority, she said. Adding new ones in more populous areas is also a key goal, she said. The county still will push out text alerts in emergencies, she said, but the sirens will be an important component in warning residents.

Runs at the Greenfield Fire Department continue to increase, James Roberts, chief of the Greenfield Fire Territory, told the group. In 2016, the department made just under 4,000 runs, up from 3,600 in 2015 and up from 3,000 just a few years ago. Roberts said the increased load is putting more pressure on the department as it responds to the needs of a growing — and aging — community.

The class also met with state Rep. Bob Cherry and state Sen. Mike Crider who stopped to address the class before heading to the Statehouse for the second day of this year’s Indiana General Assembly session; Greenfield Mayor Chuck Fewell, who urged the class to get involved in civic affairs; Sheriff Mike Shepherd, who helped lead a tour of the jail; John Jokantas, director of communications for the county 911 center, and his deputy, Matt Kelly; Maj. Derek Towle of the Greenfield Police Department, a 1999 graduate of Leadership Hancock County who also served on the LHC board for several years; and Nick Ernstes, a deputy at the sheriff’s department who introduced the class to his drug-sniffing dog, Manni.


Deputy Nick Ernstes of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department hid a stash of drugs in the garage at the sheriff’s department. His dog, Manni, sniffed it out within moments. Manni has been instrumental in a number of drug busts in the county.


Capt. Bobby Campbell of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department displays a map of the county jail showing how the cellblocks are laid out. The class (including Jennifer Frye, at right) took a tour of the jail during its class day on Wednesday, Jan. 4


Sgt. Matt Boots of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department leads the jail tour into the facility’s indoor recreation area. The graffiti on the door was painted using toothpaste. Painting messages and drawings on the walls of the room is something of a pastime for inmates at the jail.


Chief James Roberts of the Greenfield Fire Territory leads a tour of the garage at the downtown fire station. The department’s antique fire truck, which is used during ceremonies, is parked in the garage. The class learned that the fire department went on nearly 4,000 runs in 2016.


Class members gather on the main floor of the Emergency Operations Center, which would be the nerve center for the county’s response to a large disaster.