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2014 Leadership Morgan Hill class set to graduate, debut project

Video highlights why Morgan Hill is such as exceptional place

Published in the September 17-30, 2014 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Staff Report

The 2014 Leadership Morgan Hill class is coming to the end of its nine-month journey of personal and professional discovery as they prepare to graduate at Guglielmo Winery 6 p.m. Monday Sept. 22. And at the ceremony that’s open to the public, the class will debut its project — a 10-minute video highlighting why Morgan Hill is such an exceptional place.

“This year’s class has a lot of energy, which is so exciting, and they’re very passionate about their project,” said Theresa Kiernan, Leadership Morgan Hill’s facilitator. “They have been working very hard on their video that highlight the reasons why Morgan Hill is a great place to live, work and play. I haven’t seen it yet, and I won’t see it until I see it with everyone else at the graduation.”

Class member Bill Haskell said a key part of the program for him was working with his classmates on the project. Each new Leadership class must come up with its own project focused on Morgan Hill. In past years, class projects have ranged from public art installments to fundraising on behalf of local non-profits.

“We plan to make our video publicly available to the city, the Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, schools and residents via the web and social media,” Haskell said.

The class members collaborated to define a vision and scope for the video, then went into the community and raised funds to finance the filming and production of the project. The class hired 152 West Productions, a Gilroy-based video-production company. The video includes interviews with local people from all walks of life who shared their unique experiences and perspectives on Morgan Hill. It also includes video and still shots that capture many places and landmarks.

“It was a great experience, giving class members a chance to learn and try their skills at planning, organizing and creative thinking,” Haskell said. “If nothing else, we hope locals and visitors alike learn a little something new about this growing city with a small town feel that’s only minutes away from Silicon Valley.”

Leadership Morgan Hill wasn’t a “sit back and absorb information” learning experience but provides hands-on opportunities for its class members to grow, Haskell said.

“I was amazed at how community leaders took hours out of their day to spend time with our class,” he said. “This included the chief of police, a hospital administrator, a publisher and a district court judge as well as political leaders from the mayor to the county supervisor and our representatives in Sacramento.”