Chamber honors Rocklin leadership

By: Michael Althouse, The Placer Herald
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A veritable who’s who of Rocklin leadership past and present gathered at Johnson Springview Park last Tuesday to be honored by the Rocklin Chamber 2008 Leadership Class. The Leadership Class was created five years ago by the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce to better connect business leaders to the community, said Chamber Chief Executive Officer Robin Trimble. The 10-month class has a similar curriculum every year that culminates in some sort of community service project. In addition to a granite plaque honoring the past, present and future leaders of Rocklin, this year’s class installed three picnic benches and tables and planted seven trees at Johnson Springview Park. “Although the curriculum is the same from year to year, the needs of the community change,” Trimble said. “This year, we incorporated leadership from Whitney High School,” she said. “It’s great to have the business leaders connected with the (high school) students.” Spokesperson for the class, Jenny Beard, explains that applications for the class open to the community in the fall. “The Chamber felt there was a need to groom future leaders,” she said, adding that the application process involves an interview - there are more applicants than available spaces. Susan Willson of the Placer SPCA and 2008 class member said the class began with a history of Rocklin. “My favorite part was education day,” she said. “We got to go to a school and learn about how they operated.” Christine Chrisman with the Chamber Leadership Class Steering Committee said the class is just like a regular class. “There is homework and activities outside of class. Students go to city council meetings, supervisor meetings, school district board meetings and Chamber events so they can get a feel for different aspects of the community,” she said. Rocklin realtor, Chamber Ambassador, event Master of Ceremonies and 2008 Leadership Class member Billy Radakovitz said that each class is responsible for coming up with a project. “We wanted to recognize the past, but it sort of evolved into how we can recognize the leadership of the past, the present and the future,” he said. Although this year’s involvement with Whitney High was limited, the schools leadership bodies will have an expanded role in years to come, said Whitney High Activities Director Jason Feuerbach. “This dedication ceremony was the first interaction with the leadership class,” he said. “But we’re trying to get more involved.” Feuerbach heads up all the leadership activities at Whitney High including student government. “Next year we’re going to try to get one of our students involved with the class,” he said.