You are here


Kudos to Norma Kerling and Michelle Conklin

Kudos to Norma Kerling`13 and Michelle Conklin `14 who taught the importance of leadership congruence and the social change model to the students who are currently participating in Leadership Allegany. Students learned that leadership congruency requires a solid understanding of self, integrity, and commitment. To begin with, consider the following poem.

Friday August 21st Agriculture Day

On Friday August 21st the Leadership Allegany cohort met at Houghton College where we were informed we would be traveling to Centerville to experience the Genesee Valley Produce Auction. After a short drive to Centerville we saw the Auction pavilion. Sellers were busily putting their produce out for the buyers to see. The GVPA is run by the Amish and is open to the public. There were Retail tables for items available for immediate sale, a food stand with beverages and donuts and of course produce for auction.

Thursday June 18th - Judicial System Industry Day

Thursday June 18th the Leadership Allegany cohort were give a special treat when they arrived for their Judicial System Industry Day. After arriving at the Belmont Court House, the cohort was introduced to Jean Levey (Family Court Clerk) Patricia Fogarty (Assistant Public Defender), J. Thomas Fuoco (Assistant District Attorney) and Dawn Wildrick-Cole (Court Attorney). During that time the speakers were able to work through and explain they myriad that is the public court system, and the day to day activities of all involved.

July 9, 2015 - Curriculum Day: Commitment

Commitment: It’s one of those words that makes us cringe most of the time. It’s a reminder that we have to do something or go somewhere; it’s a nagging or guilty reminder of a promise we made; it often is the thing that makes our daily lives so hectic.

Industry Day: Education

On October 16th I had the pleasure of attending Leadership Allegany’s Education Industry Day at the Cuba-Rushford school. Several individuals involved in the local educational process provided the Leadership Allegany members with a variety of information relating to educating our children. My youngest child graduated from high school in 2012 so even though I may not be personally affected by changes in public education, the speakers provided interpretation and explanations of these changes.

Walk the Talk

While there are certainly many variables involved in what makes an effective leader, a thorough sense of self awareness and a consistent application of one’s values and beliefs will inspire trust, transparency, and openly honest communication in order to effect positive change.

My judicial experience

On 06/19/2014 I learned more about the judicial system, than I thought I would. There are a lot of local government branches. I’ve also come to realize that the local level is just one level of our county government. There are a lot of services that the local government does that I was not aware of. I enjoyed listening to all the speakers, Judge Parker, Michael Regan, Daniel Guiney, and Lisa O'Connell.

Consciousness of self, the classroom

When I signed up for Leadership Allegany, I really didn’t think I had anything to contribute or that I would be “good enough”. I, like so many in the class, had doubts and fears to overcome. Each week, as we get to know each other better, it has been more comfortable and easier to see why anyone is qualified. You just have to know what your strengths are, work with those, understand your weaknesses and learn to work with those, as well.

Allegany County government: An Overview

I was delighted for the opportunity to participate in Leadership Allegany. I love people and am always ready for a challenge. I welcome the opportunity to learn better ways to communicate and work with others as it pertains to my job and community involvement. Each of us knows what we think are our strengths and weaknesses, but I was amazed after taking the “StrengthsFinder” to see it all broken out and how one thing affects another. Having representation from all four domains of leadership strengths serving each team will be most beneficial in the making of a strong leadership unit.

The First Curriculum Day

To be completely honest, I was rather nervous to start this course. I have never really considered myself a leader and did not feel I had any of the personality traits traditionally associated with a leader. I’m not assertive, public speaking gives me nightmares, and making large decisions that will affect people stresses me out. Although the retreat was enjoyable, I was still a bit apprehensive heading into the first classroom day given both my fear of the unknown and lingering insecurities about being a leader.


What People Are Saying

“I loved participating in Leadership Allegany. It was a great learning experience and I enjoyed continuing to discover more about Allegany County and the wonderful people that live and work here.”
Julie Briggs-Cunningham Annual Fund Director St. Bonaventure University
“Leadership Allegany is an excellent program. It creates introspection, motivation, collaboration, and it educates along the way. I feel that it has made us all more well-rounded employees, business owners, and future leaders. The program has been well planned and well run.”
Michael Burke Business Owner Angelica Winery
“I am proud to be a part of Leadership Allegany. The learning experience was exceptional. Now that I have completed the course, I am ever more convinced this is where I need to be. I look forward to the many leadership initiatives in the future and hope to be a part of Allegany County’s growth and prosperity for the future.”
Odeney Carty Principal rTechCustom Web Design
“Leadership Allegany has opened a door and given me skills and confidence. I’ve built a network and many resources. This has encouraged me to look at my personal strengths and weaknesses as well as Allegany County. It has become a beginning with no end to a new relationship/association I will have in Allegany County.”
Lisa Clark Co-owner East Wind Landscape Nursery LLC
“Leadership Allegany has been a great way to connect with a wonderful group of dedicated and passionate individuals in the community. Together we make up a powerful force that can create positive change on a local level. Additionally, it has broadened my perspective of the local community, drawing me outside of my own line of work and into the other industries operating here in Allegany County.”
Amanda Khodorkovskaya Co-owner Living Acres Farms
“Leadership Allegany ruined my life in all the best possible ways. The program has challenged me to better understand myself, define what I have to offer, and seek out meaningful ways to give back. It got me out of my comfort zone and into my community. It helped me rediscover some long lost passions and gave me a renewed sense of purpose. I am so thankful to have had this experience.”
Jeff Kirksey Vice President for Student Retention and Development Eastern Nazarene College
“Through Leadership Allegany, I have a much better understanding of how the county runs. My eyes were opened wide when I learned about all the services that take place within the county. This experience makes me want to be a part of the collaboration.”
Corinna McKnight Chief Operations Officer Allegany ARC
“I’ve learned more about myself and my community in Leadership Allegany than through any other effort.”
Michael Miller CEO Alco Federal Credit Union
“Leadership Allegany provided me with an invaluable experience for making professional and personal growth. Because of Leadership Allegany, I have a better understanding of my community's resources and needs.”
Rebecca Scott Deputy Director Literacy West NY Inc
Leadership Allegany has provided me with a valuable, positive learning and networking experience which will continue to impact my life and career here in Allegany County. The program has afforded me the opportunity to meet many people I normally would not have crossed paths with. I am thankful for this opportunity.
Norma Kerling Chief Clinical Officer Cuba Memorial Hospital
Leadership Allegany is a wonderful opportunity to learn about other businesses operating within the county, to network with other local businesses, and to learn about myself.
Roy Bonham Co-Owner B&R Surveying PLLC
I liked the class very much. I learned about my strengths and met new people with leadership skills that I would like to see as leaders in my community. The most fun was the rope course. I hope I get invited to do it again! I love a good challenge.
Daniel Smith Business Owner D&L Logging
Arriving in the footsteps of the Social Change Model, Leadership Allegany has been beneficial both personally and professionally. Through the exposure designed by Leadership Allegany, I was able to feel the pulse of Allegany County. My hope and intention is to pay it forward.
Andrea Mott-Hollamby Business Owner Femme Physica
Choice proceeds consequence.  They estimate that the average human being processes some 35,000 choices in any given day.  My choice to participate in Leadership Allegany has already redeemed many wonderful exchanges with great professionals.  Leadership Allegany has been a decision that has inspired me to make better choices around how to lead, provided education around the framework of good leadership in various local businesses, and has provided the motivation and environment for good leaders to become great leaders.
Marilee Arthur Fitness Director Northfield Racquet Club
Through Leadership Allegany I have a renewed sense of pride to have been part of a group of valuable leaders and resources in our county. The program has encouraged me to take more responsibility as a leader in both my personal and professional life and to value the strengths of the people we spend time with. Although there is no specific formula for success, I believe the program is part of the process in which we can take something and pass it on to create more leaders in our community.
Amy Black Residential Director Allegany ARC
Leadership Allegany has been instrumental in opening my eyes to the variety of services and industries operating in Allegany County. I have been able to discuss challenges and opportunities with people that I probably would have not had the opportunity to meet with otherwise.
Ryan Cool Manager of Technical Services and Student Accounts Houghton College
Leadership Allegany helped me see needs and learn the importance of ….”Be who you are and what you are – wherever you are at - and help others do the same.”
Darlene Roloson Owner Lenae Consulting
Leadership Allegany provided me with a focus for my future through the lens of social change.
Gina Kocsis Senior Case Worker Allegany County Department of Social Services
A leader is not only willing to surround themselves with people who are as good or better than them; they insist on it.
Trina LaFleur HR Manager ACCORD Corporation
"I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that Leadership Allegany provides all participants with an opportunity to share ideas, build friendships, and work toward a common goal of making Allegany County a better place to live and work. The contacts and the community insight Leadership Allegany provides is invaluable.  Any current or future leader in the community can find a positive benefit in sharing ideas and suggestions in this type of setting."
Tim Mahoney Finance Director ACCORD Corporation
Through this program I learned that strength-based leadership is powerful! Creating my vision statement and personal development plan was difficult but I am so thankful it was required. Leadership Allegany took me out of my comfort zone. It stretched me and challenged me, and I have grown so much.
Darlene Wells Director SWNY Allegany County District
“Allegany County, New York is filled with intelligent, creative, dedicated people quietly working every day to positively impact the lives of people in our county and people all over the world. We should all be proud of the people and things that call Allegany County home.”
Angela Tinder Caseworker Allegany County Department of Social Services
"Leadership Allegany gave me the chance to meet others passionate about their work and this community.  I feel like I have a better understanding of our community- and how we can work together to make a positive difference."
Jonathan Hilsher Director of Civic Engagement Alfred State College
“Leadership Allegany has allowed me to see various aspects of the county that I would not have seen otherwise. The insights and connections I have made will be lasting and serve my career well.”
Mitchell M. Alger County Administrator Allegany County
Leadership Allegany has provided just the right tools at the perfect time to encourage me to sharpen my focus and direct my efforts as a business owner and community member. It has been the catalyst in helping me to get to know and love Allegany County and its people--I'm so very grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a unique program!
Celeste Schoonover Owner Swain Resort
“Leadership Allegany has above all provided me with many opportunities; the opportunity to learn, the opportunity to meet many wonderful people, and the opportunity to grow, on both a professional and a personal level. For that, I will be forever thankful of my experience in the program.”
Jennifer Joyce Assistant Branch Manager Steuben Trust Company
Leadership Allegany has helped me make new connections in the community. I have learned so much about myself and about Allegany County. It has brought forth a sense of community and I suspect I will become more involved with community service at a whole new level.
Linda Baker Office Manager Archbishop Walsh Academy
“I knew Allegany County was a great place, but I did not realize just how many unique and talented individuals, organizations, services and businesses there are. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to discover more, and hope others do the same.”
Jessica Jennings Youth Court Coordinator and Service Learning Coordinator Allegany County Youth Court and Alfred University
“Leadership Allegany has helped me to understand the opportunities and challenges that exist in Allegany County and ways that I can make a difference.”
Gene Faulkner ADON, MDS/Admissions Coordinator Cuba Memorial Hospital
“The opportunity to participate in Leadership Allegany this year came at the very right moment in my life. Personally, I was preparing for new leadership roles outside of my comfort zone, and professionally I needed a spark of life. The past 10 months have been an awakening of sorts for me. I learned more about myself and gained knowledge on how to be a better leader, but also the understanding of how to do that with strengths I already had. I completed this journey alongside a great group of others, all the while learning so much more about the people, organizations and businesses of Allegany County.”
Brandon Rush Lead Designer & Production Coordinator Houghton College
“Leadership Allegany has helped me look beyond my day to day life; to look to the future and what I can add to the people I work with and to the community of Allegany County.”
Cindy Polanowski Senior Vice President of Clinical and Program Services Allegany ARC
“Living in a county is not the same as being a part of that county. Leadership Allegany has been a wonderful vehicle to tour what the county has to offer and to show how I can take a hand in that offering and serve in turn. My favorite take-aways are the friendships made with my classmates in the program and the broader connection to the other members of this county itself.”
Heather Hill Fund Development Specialist Houghton College
“Leadership Allegany has taught me that the ones crazy enough to think that they can make a change in this world are the ones who do! (But not alone)”
Gretchen Hanchett Executive Director Greater Allegany County Chamber of Commerce
“I have learned to use my strengths and to rely on my beliefs and sense of responsibility to better serve my community and to be a better person to those I have contact with.”
Christopher Ivers Jail Administrator Allegany County Sheriff’s Department

© 2017 LEADERSHIP ALLEGANY P.O. Box 174 Houghton NY 14744 - 585.567.9621 - All rights reserved.