Column: Delta Force is back in session


Courtesy photo
Dylan Bloniarz of Embers Credit Union leads a panel discussion during the Delta Force Media and Communication Day about marketing tactics, focusing on how to cater your message to your target market and retain current customers through effective marketing channels and strategies.

ESCANABA — Delta Force, a proven and effective leadership program, is designed to empower diverse individuals of our community with the knowledge, skills, and inspiration to successfully assume effective leadership roles in Delta County. The program also develops a collective resource and problem-solving network to help address community needs today and in the future.

The future growth and prosperity of our community is closely tied to the quality and commitment of our next generation of leaders; the individuals who are needed to serve on boards, commissions, in community groups, and elected positions. This kind of leadership talent must be aggressively sought out, nurtured, and given the tools to lead successfully. Through Delta Force, an annual program organized by the Delta County Chamber of Commerce with support and sponsorship by many businesses and community organizations, those resources will be cultivated. Since 2003, more than 350 students have graduated as more informed and capable leaders who are committed to using their talents to help develop our community.

The first session of the 2022 program year began with Media and Communications Day sponsored by Radio Results Network and the Daily Press. Participants responded favorably to their first-day experience. Kevin Chown, who works with Visit Escanaba and is a member of this year’s class, said, “Delta Force is a great way to meet people who have a forward-thinking perspective about the future of Escanaba.”

Kevin, and the following students, will attend nine subsequent all-day sessions until they graduate in October at the Chamber Annual Dinner.

Allison Wandahsega – Hannahville Indian Community

Amanda Jo Kleikamp – OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group

April Weber – OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group

Brenda Barron – Nyman Jewelers

Christina Kwarciany – Verso Corp

Connor Cappaert – Schneider, Larche, Haapala & Co., PLLC

Heavenlee Royer – (class of 2020) sponsored by Great Lakes First Federal Credit Union

Ian Peltier – Baybank

Jason Hamre – Visit Escanaba

Jenine Maloney – (class of 2020) First Bank

Jessica LaMarch – Bay College

Kelly Brown – Nyman Jewelers

Kevin Chown – Visit Escanaba

Kristen Goymerac – Verso Corp

Laurel Starnes – (class of 2020) OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group

Mandy Lindstrom – UP Michigan Works

Mari Bower – (class of 2020) OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group

Meagan Johnsen – Embers Credit Union

Megan DeGrave – (class of 2020) sponsored by Peninsula Federal Credit Union

Morgan Eagloski – Visit Escanaba

Paige Verbrigghe – Embers Credit Union

Rachael Strand – Garceau Insurance Agency

Sondra Becker – Delta-Schoolcraft ISD

Terri Thompson – (class of 2020) Delta County Chamber of Commerce

Tina Jensen – Bay College

Tyler J Myrick – Portage Point Productions/Delta County EDA

Whitney Pratt – Peninsula Federal Credit Union

Who benefits from Delta Force? Obviously, this year’s program participants as they learn to identify additional opportunities to influence positive change and network with one another; so, too, does our waterfront community with the involvement of the forward-thinking local leaders who are committed to the success of Delta Force.

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Vickie Micheau is executive deirector of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce

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