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Leadership Weatherford & SWOSU Honored for Partnership

Leadership Weatherford & SWOSU HonoredLeadership Weatherford and Southwestern Oklahoma State University were recently honored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) for their partnership. Among those attending the luncheon were (from left): OSRHE Chancellor Glen Johnson; Weatherford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Haley Kliewer; Lisa Thiessen, Leia Moore, Cindi Albrightson and Lori Gwyn, all from SWOSU; Business Enterprise Center Director Doug Misak; SWOSU President Randy Beutler; and Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development Sean Kouplen.

Leadership Weatherford was among 27 business and higher education partnerships throughout Oklahoma that were recently recognized as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.

Leadership Weatherford and Southwestern Oklahoma State University officials attended the Edmond luncheon to honor the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Business Partnership Excellence Award winners.

Leadership Weatherford class members spend one day a month in classes covering economic development, civic engagement, legal issues, education, health care and other topics augmenting their team-building and leadership skills.  For the past 21 years, SWOSU has collaborated with Leadership Weatherford—part of the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce—to  provide speakers, training facilities, transportation, and meals throughout the nine-month program.

Class members have the opportunity to complete the SWOSU ropes course at Crowder Lake University Park where they build communication skills, trust, problem-solving abilities, self-confidence and leadership skills. SWOSU president and history scholar Randy Beutler leads the group on a tour of the Oklahoma State Capitol. SWOSU faculty lead sessions at the two-day

Leadership Weatherford retreat at the beginning of the program and on various topics throughout the program. SWOSU staff also serve on the Leadership Weatherford planning committee and provide transportation to and from sessions in SWOSU vehicles.

One class session each year is devoted to economic development where economic development professionals present information about the local economy. A local business is invited to share its company’s success story, and class members get to tour the company’s facilities.

Thanks to SWOSU’s support, Leadership Weatherford graduates an average of 15 class members each year. SWOSU Business Enterprise Center Director Doug Misak said the university is proud to collaborate with the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce by identifying emergent leaders and by giving them the training and tools to help them succeed as community leaders.