Victoria Chamber seeks leaders for fall program

Johnathan Silver By Johnathan Silver

July 12, 2014 at 2:12 a.m.
Updated July 13, 2014 at 2:13 a.m.

Victoria Fire Marshal Tom Legler looked to Leadership Victoria when he first moved to Victoria in 2011.

Legler wanted to become more acquainted with people in the community that he wouldn't see during a normal workday.

The Gayla Capers Memorial Leadership Victoria Program is for leaders new to the community and those in the making from various sectors to teach them skills to increase their potential and promote civic involvement. The program, which the Victoria Chamber of Commerce has been operating for about 20 years, is looking for a new class, which will start this fall. The deadline to apply is Sept. 1.

Legler, who moved from Mansfield and is from Houston, said the program helped build his confidence.

"It gave a sense of reassurance," Legler said, adding that the experience also exposed him to additional points of view and an opportunity to connect with other leaders, including some in the medical, manufacturing and engineering industries.

Leadership Victoria features tours of businesses, team-building exercises, instruction on communication, strategic planning, volunteer management and more, said Randy Vivian, president and CEO of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

The program is a good way to become an integral part of the community, Vivian said.

Brian Cunningham, a certified business adviser with the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center, went through the program to meet new people and share experiences with them.

The experience helped him with public speaking and teaching classes, which he does regularly in his position with the center. As a business adviser, he provides free, taxpayer-funded business advice from the point of conception to exit strategy.

"It teaches you different ways of communicating with your peers," he said.



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