July 20, 2009 (El Cajon) – San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce recently graduated 20 students from its Leadership program. The intensive nine-month program features a full day each month of seminars.
“We cover all facets of the community,” Drum Macomber told East County Magazine during last month’s final project presentations at Grossmont College, followed by an evening graduation ceremony at the Viejas Dreamcatcher Lounge. “Today is the culimination of the project. They break into groups and each gives their presentation.” (photo, left: Division Chief Rick Sitta, El Cajon Fire, Alice Howard, alumni and luncheon sponsor, and Drum Macomber, Leadership Program organizer)
Students offered presentations on a variety of topics ranging from nutrition to health and safety. “The first one today was on the food bank. They distributed information on where to go for food,” said Macomber.
“The Fire Department gave one on the Vial of Life program. You put all your health information on the refrigerator, including all your medications and allergies, so if there’s an emergency, any emergency personnel will look there first.”
A justice group presented information on a mural painted over graffiti. “If you put a mural up, it deters graffiti. That was done with St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center,” noted Macomber, who has run the project for the past eight years.
Of 400 graduates from the Leadership program in the past 15 years, 11 have gone on to be Citizens of the Year, voted on by 18 civic and community organizations. Many have assumed other leadership roles in the community, such as Roz Oserin (photo, right), now serving as head of the Ambassadors committee for the Chamber.
Chief Rick Sitta from the El Cajon Fire Department is a graduate of the program. “It’s really an optimal program,” he said. “It opens your eyes to what really happens in local government. We have representatives of all kind of organizations, and the networking opportunities are outstanding.”