Class provides participants knowledge, networking and leadership skills

Published in the Sept. 2-15, 2015 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Staff Report

Rene Spring

Rene Spring

The Leadership Morgan Hill Class celebrates its 20th year in 2015 in building a network of women and men leaders in the South Valley who seek to enhance the quality of life in the region. Rene Spring graduated from the program in the class of 2012 and served as the president of LMH’s board of directors for the 2014/2015 term.

Morgan Hill Life asked Spring about the program and why he encourages local residents to consider joining next year’s class.

Why do you think over the past two decades Leadership Morgan Hill has grown such a solid reputation among local leaders and businesses?

For many of us, including myself, going through this program has been a life-changing and very rewarding experience. The footprints that our alumni leave back in our great community can be seen everywhere. Many of our alumni, including myself, moved on to serve our great city in various positions on the Morgan Hill City Council, city commissions or on boards of local organizations.

More than 300 individuals have gone through the nine-month leadership program. How do you think Leadership helps them personally and in their careers?

Though we had lived in Morgan Hill for a few years already, I didn’t know very many people yet in Morgan Hill as our personal life was more focused towards our network in San Jose due to our jobs, family and friends there. As part of the class, and very much so thereafter, I learned so much about our community. I met so many wonderful people who are passionate about our community and serve it in various ways. Many of them have become close friends of ours.

How did you decide to join Leadership and what did you personally get out of going through the program?

I very much was inspired by the “Bricks for our Future” project that the Leadership Morgan Hill Class of 2011 worked at, so I applied for the 2012 class. I had one of the most rewarding experiences going through this program and learned so much. I was still part of the class, when I was appointed as a planning commissioner. I also joined the board of the Morgan Hill Community Foundation, inspired by its mission and great work. And I felt very honored to serve on the Leadership Morgan Hill Board of Directors for the past three years, during which I continued to learn a lot about our community and from others.

As the board president this year, you focused on creating more diversity in the 2015 class. How do you think a more diverse group of people going through the program helps build better leaders for Morgan Hill’s future?

I’m indeed very proud of our 2015 class. Diversity has many aspects. As a local community organization we have to do our best to reach out to the entire community and its various groups, so that our classes are as reflective of our community as they can be. Being part of a diverse class (or board) is a very rewarding experience. We all can learn from each other, and we need each other. We have to be an inclusive organization.

Many nonprofit, business and government officials have gone through the Leadership Morgan Hill program. How has it added to the quality of our community’s leadership?

We all have something in common — our experience of having been part of a Leadership Morgan Hill class. We all created a very valuable network of other leaders and volunteers within our community that helps all of us to be stronger leaders. Leadership Morgan Hill creates a valuable foundation for local leaders to build upon no matter what role they serve in now.

Leadership Morgan Hill will host a special information evening this month. Tell us about it.

It will be a great opportunity for anyone interested in our program and joining our 2016 class to get informed about the program and the application process, and to ask questions. The event will take place at the Morgan Hill Community Center 6 p.m., Sept. 29. RSVP to info@leadershipmorganhill.org.

Details

What: Information meeting to join the Leadership Morgan Hill Class of 2016
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29
Where: Community and Cultural Center, 17000 Monterey Road.
Contact: www.leadershipmorganhill.org