Leadership Pearland learns ‘Hands On Leadership’ at Newcombe Tennis Ranch

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John F. Kennedy once said that leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. Leadership Pearland operates with this same belief. Leadership Pearland, Texas is a leadership program sponsored by the Pearland Chamber of Commerce that provides an opportunity for professionals to engage in community affairs and gain an interest in emerging leadership positions.

Recently, the Leadership Pearland class of 2016-2017 began the 9 month program by loading up in a van and heading out west to the beautiful John Newcombe Tennis Ranch in New Braunfels, Texas for a 2 day team building retreat. According to Carol Artz-Bucek, President/CEO of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce and an advocate of Leadership Pearland, the two-day mandatory retreat, “The two day retreat is overwhelming my favorite as members of the team gain outstanding trust for each other that will last a lifetime.”

The first day began with a personality test followed by low ropes course activities designed to pull out these different personalities as the group worked together to achieve various tasks; None of which could be accomplished alone. Throughout the course of day one, each activity allowed the class to experience the role they play in the team’s success and also how they function together as a group.

The final day of the retreat was spent on the high ropes course where participants were encouraged to challenge themselves individually as each activity pushes you out of your comfort zone and in many cases places you face to face with the fears and insecurities that can sometimes stand between you and your best self. Both days on the ropes course provided a shared experience of team cohesion, trust, communication and problem solving that could not have been replicated sitting in a board room reading a book on leadership.

This mission was accomplished according to Leadership Pearland participant, Gerrit von Wenckstern who reflected, “We all walked away with a deeper understanding of ourselves, our classmates and how we contribute to our team.”

Kathy Dupree, Leadership Pearland participant stated that, “The retreat gave each of us a chance to learn more about each other and develop a unique trust for one another.” This trust will be necessary as the group will culminate their 9-month experience with a project designed to benefit the community in some way. Tonya Davis said “Because Leadership Pearland begins with this unique experience, we now have a solid foundation on which to build as we move through the year towards completion of our project.”

So, whether they are leading each other through a maze blindfolded, leaping from a 50 foot pole, learning about the nuts and bolts of what keeps Pearland thriving, or working together to create a project that will leave a positive mark on the city, the new Leadership Pearland class will undoubtedly expand their leadership potential and walk away from this experience better. For isn’t it true that one cannot be an agent of change unless they are first a changed agent.

The Leadership Pearland Class of 2016-2017 consists of: Andrew J. Fontenot, Kelsey-Seybold; Christian I. Bionat, Congressman Olson; Juaquinya S Dent, City of Pearland; Gerrit von Wenckstern, Memorial Hermann; Kathy L. Dupree, University of Houston Clear Lake – Pearland Campus; Kristyan R. De Hoyos, Amegy Bank; Mandy L. Benedix, Pearland ISD; Melissa L. Washington, Pearland Chamber of Commerce; Sasha Costa, The Media Heroes; Tonya B. Davis, Turner High School.

The Leadership Pearland class will continue to meet monthly to discuss other aspects of leadership, including an in-depth exploration of city government, our education in Pearland, Brazoria County leaders, a trip to the Texas legislature and our nation’s capital in May. These events will move the class toward completing the objectives to develop and form relationships, stimulate understanding of forces affecting the development of the community, learn the history of Pearland, and promote involvement of the class members in a range of civic and community affairs.

For more information regarding Leadership Pearland, please contact Carol Artz-Bucek, President/CEO at [email protected]

As the voice of business, the Pearland, TX Chamber of Commerce creates and promotes an environment for trade and commerce through strategic partnerships and advocacy to enhance the economic growth for members and community.

The Pearland Chamber of Commerce is located in The Commerce Center, 6117 Broadway, Pearland, Texas 77581. For more information call 281-485–3634.

Mandy Benedix, Founder and Manager of the Risk Program for Pearland Independent School District