HOLDREGE — Eleven community leaders have been selected to participate in the first Leadership Holdrege class.

The new program aims to inspire, connect, educate and engage leaders in Phelps County to make a stronger impact in their workplaces and in the community.

The group represents a range of community members, including a few who just moved to the area as well as others who were raised or have lived in the area for a long period of time, said Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jessica Kraus.

“We are excited to see how this group of young leaders connects and learns through this program,” Kraus said. “We hope ultimately that these class participants will become leaders in creating positive changes in our businesses and in our community.”

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Those selected and their employers are:

- Ashley Popple, Popple Construction;

- Ben Loberg, FSB Investments;

- Carley Bruning, Phelps County Development Corporation;

- Chris McQuillan, First State Bank Loomis;

- Colby Gray, Country Road Realty;

- Coni Park, Young at Heart Senior Center;

- Cory Steinke, Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District;

- Kelsey Stevenson, Salon 31/Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce;

- Leah Gleason, Fye Law Office;

- Mark Kraus, Lost Way Brewery/Real Estate Connection;

- Shaun Keeshan, Black Hills Energy.

Leadership Holdrege is a project of the Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce. It is supported financially through participants’ class fees, by PCDC and through a grant from the Nebraska Department of Labor Worker Training Program.

Central Community College is a partner in the program, and several area businesses also are involved by providing tours or speakers, including the city of Holdrege, Phelps County, Phelps County Community Foundation, South-Central Economic Development District, Glion, CNPPID, Phelps County Sheriff’s Office, Holdrege Police Department, Educational Service Unit No. 11 and Phelps Memorial Health Center.

The Leadership Holdrege class will meet for the first time Thursday and Friday with a retreat.

The class will continue to meet monthly through May with sessions on government, education and community investment, industry and agriculture, natural resources, and economic development/medical.

Participants also will complete the Gallup Strength Finders analysis. A graduation ceremony is planned May 8.

For more information about the program, contact Jessica Kraus at jessica@holdregechamber.com or 308-995-4444.

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