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The Leadership Gillespie County Selection Committee seeks candidates who express a strong desire to gain a comprehensive understanding of the community and its issues and challenges and how local leaders are facing them. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 21 before 5 p.m. The application form states all program requirements, meeting dates and activity locations. 


Over the last nine months, cool things have been happening all across our community. The grass was cut and portions of Der Stadt Friedhof Cemetery were tidied. Residents of a senior living facility received a visit from Christmas carolers. Students at Gillespie County High School were mentored in the areas of resume writing, interview skills and dressing for success. Children in the care of a local childcare facility benefited from a beautification project to their outdoor play space. Donations were received by the Fredericksburg Food Pantry. The City of Fredericksburg got a boost from a whole set of helping hands for their annual Touch-A-Truck event. And, some special residents received a little TLC through programs at Hill Country Community Needs Council.

The fact that all of these things took place due to the efforts of just twenty people, some of whom had never met one another before, makes the accomplishment even more meaningful and inspiring.

The twenty people are the Leadership Gillespie County (LGC) Class of 2023, who celebrated their graduation from the program last Friday night. And while they have completed the full program curriculum and numerous class projects, this is not an end point for the newly-minted LGC alumni, but rather a jumping off point.

Taylor Ward, who was just elected as a trustee for the Fredericksburg Independent School Board, cites his LGC experience as a key reason he chose to get more involved. Several other LGC Class of 2023 members are working on plans to create a parks foundation. Christina Harman is expanding her successful business, making small-batch Italian ice, with a store-front location.

LGC is not the reason for these successes, and many more; rather it’s a toolkit for those who want to expand their community knowledge, leadership discipline and circle of influence to achieve more and serve more broadly.

With this latest class, LGC alumni in our community number more than 600. If they were all asked to wear their brightly-colored class shirts (yes, every class has a special shirt), you would see LGC alumni sitting on every elected/appointed body, serving on virtually every local non-profit board, in the ranks of businesses, both large and small, and performing countless hours of volunteer service.

Again, LGC is not the reason they serve so devotedly, but it’s safe to say they are better equipped to serve and have a deeper understanding of the connective value of that service because of their LGC experience.

I know these things to be true. Not only because decades of alumni have shared their stories with me, but also as a member of the inaugural LGC Class and volunteer in getting the program established. The learning, the connections and the real-life experience of performing a class project have been invaluable to me. And, I deeply appreciate working for the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce, because of the long-standing, continued investment the organization makes in developing community leaders.

The Chamber is now accepting applications to be considered for selection to the Class of 2024. It is a significant investment of time – an overnight class retreat, nine full-day education sessions, the implementation of a project(s) of the class’s choosing and graduation night. I am confident if you ask any of our alumni, they would tell you it is worth it.

Check out the application form, which includes all participation requirements, class meeting dates and program expectations. Is it your turn to lead?

Penny C. McBride


Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce

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