Leadership Santa Maria Valley Adapts for Class of 2021

Leadership Santa Maria Valley is looking for candidates for their 2021 class. The 10 month program is designed to build leaders in the Santa Maria Valley community, give class members opportunities to network and to learn more about local business industries. With COVID-19, this year’s program has made some adjustment to still provide a valuable experience for the class.

The program will kick off in March with a retreat, where class members get a chance to get to know one another better and learn more about the program’s topic days and legacy project components.

“This year the retreat will not be overnight and out of town as usual,” explained Terri Oneschuck, Program Director for Leadership Santa Maria Valley. “We are currently revising the retreat to fit with the pandemic regulations in March while still offering a fun an interactive experience for class members.”

Following the retreat in March, the program consists of monthly topic days from April through December.

“In our program, the class members actually plan the topic days with the guidance of a couple alumni,” Oneschuck explained. “These days will probably start in the Zoom format and as things open up, we will be meeting in-person at the sites of the businesses and organizations we are learning about.”

The final component of Leadership Santa Maria Valley is a legacy project, where the class gets to plan and implement some type project that gives back to the community.

“The legacy project is an opportunity for the class to be creative and work together on something that can have a big impact on our local community,” Oneschuck explained. The most recent graduating class built a mobile observatory for students and also published a bilingual children’s book, with profits going to local nonprofits. “It is always so impressive to see the project each class comes up with, and how they navigate the challenges and triumphs that come with having to work together towards a common goal,” Oneschuck said.

While this year’s leadership program will look a little different because of the pandemic, Oneschuck says it’s a great opportunity for the class to really make the program their own. “A huge part of leadership is adaptability, and I’m excited to see how this year’s class thinks outside the box and tackles the challenges the pandemic may present,” Oneschuck said. “We look forward to an exciting year and encourage any locals looking to build their leadership skills to check out our program!”

For more information contact Terri Oneschuck, Program Director, at terrio@santamaria.com. You can also learn more and apply online at http://santamaria.com/leadership-santa-maria-valley. (Please note that we have extended the program's early bird pricing of $895. Contact Terri for additional details on this great offer!)