Great Valley Chapter of American Leadership forum to graduate first class today

The Great Valley Chapter of the American Leadership Forum said it will graduate its inaugural class at 3 p.m. today at the Great Valley Center., Modesto.

“I think the new American Leadership Forum is a difference maker for the northern San Joaquin Valley,” said Great Valley Center President David Hosley. “A network of regional leaders who know how to build consensus on solutions to tough issues facing this region can accelerate positive change in a big way. These pioneers in the first class are a great foundation on which to build.”

The Great Valley Center inaugurated the Great Valley Chapter of the American Leadership Forum last year.

Local Fellows include Ben Duran, Merced College, Merced; Ron Foster, Foster Farms, Livingston; Flip Hassett, United Way of Merced County, Merced; Linda Lopez, Office of Congressman Cardoza, Merced;and Noah Lor, Merced City Council, Merced

The American Leadership Forum (ALF) is a nonprofit organization, national in scope, dedicated to joining and strengthening established leaders in order to serve the public good. It enhances leadership by building on the strengths of diversity and by promoting collaborative problem-solving within and among communities. The Great Valley chapter serves San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties and joins 14 chapters across the country, the center said in a news release.

Each month during the first year, ALF Fellows met for seminars and dialogues led by faculty. Thes sessions focused on developing an understanding of and skills for collaborative leadership. Before the year ended, Fellows designed and implemented a civic engagement initiative, addressing an actual regional need. The project provided a real-time collaborative experience, using the skills learned in dialogue, consensus building, negotiation and conflict resolution, the news release said.

Graduates, known as Senior Fellows, will continue to work together in a regional network built on relationships across all sectors.