A leader needs to not only be passionate, but also possess a genuine love for what it is they do.

So was the message relayed to the Leadership Carbon Class of 2014 at a reception breakfast held Wednesday at the Mahoning Valley Country Club, Lehighton.

About 40 people attended the reception, including members of previous Leadership Carbon classes.

The invocation was offered by Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein. That was followed by the breakfast reception.

Dawn Ferrante, Executive Director, Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corporation, gave the welcome.

Ferrante referred to Leadership Carbon as a "very important program."

She noted that earlier this year, the Carbon County Chamber merged with the Carbon County Economic Development.

The program is co-sponsored by the CCEDC and Carbon County Partners for Progress.

This year, Ferrante said classes will be held at the CCEDC building in Lehighton.

She said Elissa Garofalo, who chaired the program for the past five years, stepped down, primarily due to the fact that she is now the president of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.

Ferrante then introduced Leadership Carbon Class of 2010 graduate Patty DeSousa, whom the chairperson role was passed onto.

"Patty's passionate about it," Ferrante said. "I think she will be an excellent leader."

DeSousa said the position appealed to her because as a mother, she's taken on many leadership roles in her children's lives.

"I'm passionate in what I believe in," DeSousa said. "I'm passionate about this program."

DeSousa added "when you lead as a team, you're always going to be united. But, if you lead as an individual, you're going to be divided."

State Rep. Doyle Heffley then offered remarks.

Heffley stated that Leadership Carbon is a "wonderful program."

He then recognized Ferrante; Jeanne Miller, director of the SHINE program; Nothstein and fellow Carbon County Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard; and Micah Gursky, Director of Development, St. Luke's Hospital - Miners Campus.

Heffley said Carbon County is "a beautiful area" with so much to do.

He then commended the class, and told them that he looks forward to seeing them at their graduation.

Maureen Donovan, Assistant Director Workforce & Community Services, Lehigh Carbon Community College, said her organization customizes training for companies.

Donovan said Leadership Carbon has been revamped over time, and added that it "brought in one of the best with Judy Bowen."

She then told the participants that "it's important for a leader to have love in their lives. You need to be able to ignite a fire in people."

Donovan added "I challenge you to not only open your mind, but open your heart, and I guarantee you're going to get a lot out of it."

Lisa Johnson, Vice President, Public Relations/Marketing, Blue Mountain Health System, served as the Keynote Speaker.

Johnson said she grew up in a family that was passionate about health care, a trait that has carried over into her professional career.

"I'm passionate about what I'm doing," Johnson said. "Our community hospitals are strong, they're viable, and we can take care of you."

Johnson noted the importance for leaders to be able to communicate, validate, and appreciate.

Judy Bowen, Professional Facilitator, said she is thrilled to be involved with the organization.

"I'm so fortunate to be involved with this," Bowen said. "I also learn a lot from you."

Bowen then alluded to the five behaviors of geese during migration courtesy of Milton Olson's Lessons From Geese.

"In the next nine months, get to know each other well," she said. "What you put into it is what you'll get out of it."

DeSousa then gave the class introductions, at which time she announced the members of the Leadership Carbon Class of 2014:

Ÿ Lynn Shupp, Photography by Lynn

Ÿ Kayla Everett, Ohl Fuel Oil

Ÿ Jennifer Harvey, Closet Cases

Ÿ Amanda Miller, RN, St. Luke's Miners Coaldale

Ÿ Lisa Bleicher, Family Chiropractic

Ÿ Colleen Dykas, Mrs. Domestic

Ÿ Pam Fludgate, My Mortage

Ÿ Cindy Gasper, Transcription Services

Ÿ Pat Anglovich, HRC

Ÿ Scott Allen, J&R Slaw

Ÿ Chastity Miller, Mauch Chunk Trust

Ÿ Pamela Heydt, Blue Mountain Health System

Ÿ Kathy Ruff, Total Business Services

Ÿ Nicole Beckett, Lehighton Borough Manager

Ÿ Chrissy Mayernic, Manufacturers Resource Center.

Ÿ Andy Hart

Leadership Carbon, a nine-month program designed to cultivate leaders for the benefit and development of Carbon County's future, was formed in 2005 by Partners for Progress.

Participants in the program meet once a month at the CCEDC building in Lehighton from September to May, with a different topic, such as county government, economic development, health care, team building, environment and education.

At the end of the program in May, a graduation ceremony is conducted.

For more information on Leadership Carbon, go to http://leadershipcarbon.com [1].