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Leadership Lycoming class graduates amid COVID-19

Masks were the fashion accessory of the day as members of the Leadership Lycoming Class of 2020 received their plaque at graduation ceremonies Thursday.

In delivering the remarks for the class, spokesperson Brittany Fischer commented on how the class’ year which had begun as a regular and expected experience had quickly altered to seek out new means of finishing the program in the midst of a global pandemic.

“None the less, we prevailed and made it through a Leadership Lycoming program that no one saw coming,” Fischer said.

“And with that we have full rights to say that we are indeed the best class ever,” she added, eliciting a round of applause from her classmates.

Jason Fink, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce noted that the graduation event was the first time that the class had all been physically together since March due to COVID-19.

“You’ve had a great opportunity since the onset of the pandemic to see and learn firsthand the good and the bad in leadership characteristics in all levels of government and society,” Fink told the group.” Hopefully the time you spent distancing you’ve had a bit to reflect on those traits you want to emulate in your leadership style.”

“It’s not only the pandemic that has offered this chance to see good and bad leadership. One other area in our society where we’re seeing people take more civic roles is in the issue of racial equality. This sadly is something that is yet to be successfully addressed and achieved,” he added.

Each year at the Leadership Lycoming graduation a member of the community is honored with the Donna Bastian Leadership Lycoming Community Service Award. This year’s recipient was Ron Cimini, a local businessman and philanthropist who has spent much of his life volunteering in the community, according to Donna Bastian who presented the award to Cimini.

Cimini told the graduates on hand that he suggested that as they go through life they should find a non-profit organization and participate by giving of their time and knowledge to make the world a better place.

“There is nothing more satisfying than giving of yourself to make a difference in other people’s lives,” he said.

“Along this journey. our entire class has had multiple opportunities to meet with local CEO’s, college presidents, business owners, law enforcement officials and many others…from all walks of life,” Fischer said.

She talked about what makes a great leader She told the group that she had learned through her time in the program that there is one thing that all leaders have in common.

“They inspire. Leaders who are passionate about what they believe are the ones that inspire those around them,’ she added.

Held under a tent at Herman and Luther’s, Montoursville, those attending were required to wear masks until seated at tables which had been socially distanced in keeping with the required mitigation efforts.

Leadership Lycoming is a program of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce which began in the 1980s and seeks to motivate a new group of leaders in the community through a 10-month experience each year.

Twenty-four people from various businesses and social service groups participated in this year’s class.

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