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Innovative thinking

Eighteen Corinth and Alcorn County professionals graduated from The Alliance's 2018 Leadership Alcorn class.

BY ZACK STEEN zsteen@dailycorinthian.com

(Editor's note: This is the final story in a series featuring The Alliance's Leadership Alcorn Class of 2018.)

After four months of innovative thinking, a new class of leaders have been molded.

The Alliance's Leadership Alcorn Class of 2018 graduated this week in front of a group of professionals at the Corinth Rotary Club meeting.

Benjie Houston took lessons learned from a Leadership Mississippi class to help create a new Leadership Alcorn class. Between Houston and Bill Terry, the two instructors lead the four-program Leadership Alcorn class which began in January with 18 students.

"The program was built for leaders in Alcorn County to better prepare their self so that they can go out into the community and make it a better place for the next generation," said Houston. "I'm proud of everyone in this class and have been honored to be a part of this. Hopefully we will take what we learned from these sessions and make the program a even better one for years to come."

Terry shared an overview of what was covered during the four programs.

"We focused on influence, innervation and integrity - without those three things leadership can be hard," said Terry.

Session one was about leadership and innovation. To innovate or die or to disrupt what is currently being done, as well as teamwork and trust, said Terry.

Session two was a government overview and the vision of Corinth was shared. A Innovation Cafe was hosted among the classmates, as well.

Session three was held at Shiloh National Military Park and was all about leadership and communication or the lack there of, while session four wrapped with industry day with Caterpillar tours and learning presentation skills and generating buy-in.

"With this year's class of Leadership Alcorn, I think we have really hit a home run," added Terry.

Two students spoke about what they learned during the four-month program.

"Some things I took away - never settle, don't be complacent and strategic doing is a good thing, but it's worthless without putting it into action," said Jason Coley. "What if ... what if we started every conversion with 'what if.' What if Corinth was the place everyone wanted to be? What would it look like. That put a different spin on it for me."

Coley thanked The Alliance, industries, Houston and Terry, as well as The Alliance Community Development Director Virginia-Boyd James, who oversaw the Leadership group.

"I wrote it down - she was our guide, our host, our colleague and our friend," added Coley.

Student Matt Quinn also thanked those who made the program happen.

He then reflected on what made an impact on him during the course.

"Leadership is people and positive influence on those people. To lead people, you have to like people and to lead you have to know the person you are," said Quinn. "Know what motivates your team - this was huge for me because I work with five wonderful ladies and each one is different. I learned to find out what motivates my team members and use that to help reach our goals."

Class participates included Kyle Bethay - Cook Coggin Engineers, Carson Butler - Farmers & Merchants Bank, Haven Caldwell - Magnolia Regional Health Center, Jason Coley - Magnolia Regional Health Center, Casey Corbin - Hamilton Ryker, William Dodd - Dodd Eye Clinic, Matthew Estes - Cook Coggin Engineers, Kimberlee Fair - Avectus, Christy Hinton - ACE Power, Jed James - Renasant Insurance, Hunter McCalla - Commerce Bank, Bryan McCutchen - BancorpSouth, Kari Beth Nash - Magnolia Regional Health Center, Jerry Porter - Community News Flash, Matt Quinn - CB & S Bank, Brandy Smith - City of Corinth, Zack Steen - Daily Corinthian and Marquetta Lynn Trice - Magnolia Regional Health Center.

Plans are already in motion for the next Leadership Alcorn program set for 2020.

(For more information about The Alliance and other community programs offered, contact 662-287-5269 or visit corinthalliance.com.)