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.