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TOPIC: ELITE Leadership

Re: ELITE Leadership 7 years, 8 months ago #190

My name is Shannon Marie Lewis. I am employed at Total Community Action Inc.in the Head Start Program. In 1995, was my first introduction to Community Action when I joined this organization as a Family Service Worker Assistant. I came to the Head Start Program because of my love to work with families and the community. I held that position for one year before being promoted to a Family Service Worker. While in the Family Service Worker position I had the opportunity to work with families to develop, maintain and achieved their goals. I also assisted families with allocating services in their community to make their families more self-sufficient. This position also afforded me the opportunity to train two Family Service Worker Assistant s that went on to be promoted to a Family Service Workers. I remained in that position until 2005 when Hurricane Katrina destroyed our city. Two years after Hurricane Katrina, I was asked to return to Total Community Action Inc. Head Start Program. When I returned I was promoted to my current position as the Child Care Partner Liaison and joined the management team.
My current position allows me to work with selected private childcare centers to help them implement head start services in their programs. Due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the high need for childcare, these centers were selected to provide head start services to more children in the Greater New Orleans area. My responsibility is to monitor these centers to become 100 percent head start compliant. These centers have grown from an enrollment of 90 to 185. I also work with their directors to help supervise and train the family service workers at each site.

Several qualities make a good leader. A good leader is a person with integrity, dedication, confidence, enthusiasm, trustworthy, decisiveness, determination, and courage.
Enthusiasm is an important quality to me because it set the tone of the group. If you approach a task in a negative manner that will be the tone, you display to your team. The team will follow in the same manner and it will show in the outcome of the task. When the leader displays enthusiasm and excitement about a task, the members of the team respond openly. It also motivates the team and it is displayed in the outcomes.

The person that I admired in a leadership role was Jacqueline Cook she led in a democratic style. She was open to listening and valued the opinions of the group. She stressed the importance of getting the task and job completed but she allowed the group to complete the task the way they worked best. She encouraged her group to take the lead in assigned projects but was available if guidance and assistance was needed. She was also open to change if it was beneficial to the team and the task. I learned from her the importance of being a good listener and to value suggestions of others. She taught me the way you present things to a team makes a big difference on how the team respond and take on their task. She was a very strong and confident leader because she was able to make decisive decisions when needed because the goal was to complete the task.
Last Edit: 7 years, 8 months ago by Shannon Lewis.

Re: ELITE Leadership 7 years, 8 months ago #195

Hi fellow Elite members,

I posted one of my favorite leaders. This is a follow up to tell you a little about me. Currently, I work with Lux Consulting Group, Inc. in Silver Spring, Maryland. We have been contracted to provide Training and Technical Assistance to Tribal CSBG Grantees. I've worked for years with Head Start and I've worked for years with American Indian and Alaska Natives. Work with Community Service Block Grants is new to me. In October I will have been in this position for a year.

I'm really excited to work with such an Elite group of people! I look forward to what's next!
Dianne Duncan Perrote
Project Director
Tribal Technical Assistance
Lux Consulting Group, Inc.
8(a) | GSA MOBIS | GSA 8(a) STARS II
Tel: 301.585.1261 x324
Fax: 301.585.7741


Re: ELITE Leadership 7 years, 8 months ago #203

Hello, my name is Karen Harshman and I am the Assistant Finance Director for Blue Ridge Community Action, Inc. in Morganton, NC. We serve 5 counties in Western North Carolina. We operate CSBG, Head Start, subsidized child care, adult day care, senior nutrition programs, a National Circles initiative, weatherization, heating appliance repair and replacement, low-income housing through our Community Housing Development Organization, and many other programs. We have been in operation for 47 years of which I have been in my current position going on 17 years. I know a lot about our CAP agency but not so much about others. I LOVE my job and found community action via a newspaper advertisement for my position several years after graduation from college. I have a BS in Accounting, a BA in French, and an AS in Business Administration from Gardner-Webb University. I graduated undergrad school at 21 although I took my first professional job at age 18. I attended Appalachian State University for my MS in Accounting immediately after undergraduate school. More recently, I became a Corporate Social Responsibility practitioner certified by CSE. My previous work experience includes public accounting/auditing, having worked as a CPA, restaurant management, manufacturing comptroller, construction company accountant, banking teller, long distance transportation company accountant and volunteer income tax preparer for the IRS. I am 44 years old, married for 12 years and am raising 2 stepchildren, 19 and 16, and my own daughter who is 10. We love to travel and spend time with family.

Concerning a leader, I will have to echo the comments of my peer in this ELITE group, Shawna Tate. Our executive director,Mattie Patterson, exemplifies the true meaning of the word leader. Also our Finance Director, Ronnie Mace, has been a mentor and leader in the truest sense of the words. I am blessed. There attributes come from years of experience, dedication, and personal and professional vision for our agency, clients, and staff. They listen. They care. They believe.

My takeaway about being a good leader is that I BELIEVE what they BELIEVE.
Thank you for letting me be a part of this forum.

I wanted to say a special hello to Barbara Miller with WV Community Action because my husbands family is from Mather, Pa in Greene County Pa. I have been visiting Greene Co every month for the last 14 years. I know they have a Community Action Agency, but would like to know more. I met my husband while he was in NC traveling for his work. He was a union industrial painter. We live in Hickory, NC.
Last Edit: 7 years, 8 months ago by Karen Harshman.

Re: ELITE Leadership 7 years, 8 months ago #229


I'm Gloria Williams Wilson from North Carolina. I have been the CSBG Director for the past 10 years and have worked almost every position within my department. Having done so gives me a clearer vision of what my staff go through on a daily basis and has helps me to be a better leader.

A good leader lead by example, admit their mistakes and recognize their followers’ strengths. They are humble which mean being modest and respectful of their followers. A good leader must have good ethics they must do the right thing even if it’s inconvenient or unpopular. A good leader does not have power over their followers, but power that energizes and connects, with them by building them up, not by ordering them around. That's how I have obtain cooperation and trust from my staff.

My favorite leader was the former Executive Director of our agency Mr. A.J Richardson who possess all of the qualities I listed above.
Gloria Williams-Wilson
N.E.E.D. Inc
Family Development Division Director
252-442-7106 ext.242
252-442-8241 fax

Re: ELITE Leadership 7 years, 8 months ago #230

Hi Kim,

I'm so proud of you.

Your NC Cohort
Gloria Williams-Wilson
N.E.E.D. Inc
Family Development Division Director
252-442-7106 ext.242
252-442-8241 fax

Re: ELITE Leadership 7 years, 7 months ago #232

Hi my name is Cecilia Zafra, from La Quinta, CA – I work for Community Action Partnership of Riverside County. I am currently a community service assistant/satellite office staff for CAP and the Dispute Resolution Program.
I started with CAP as a community assessment surveyor in 2007. We surveyed a total of 4,759 households on issues about education, jobs, health, and barriers, in the participant’s community (Riverside County). I was then offered a position as a Community Ambassador (loved that title) in which I held community focus groups, to identify the reason education, employment, and health care remain major issues to the poor in our community. Present day, I am a community service assistant for the Dispute Resolution program, and Cap satellite staff (busy, busy, busy me).
A great leader is not a DICTATOR. A great leader is a person that sets a good example to his/her followers. Leader shows that where there’s a will there’s a way, and guides you through that path – Just does not throw you out there to get slaughtered by the wolves (Bad analogy? Maybe). A leader sympathetic, lifts you up when you’re down, helps, yet is great at handling stress under pressure (does not let anyone see them sweat). A leader possess skills such as great listener – guider – respectful – humble when needs to be – strong – loyal – communication – trustworthy.
The person that I find to be a great influence, a leader in my life, is my Father. Mr. Zafra a single father raised 7 children, hard working man, very respectful, a friend too many, Christian values, has the greatest advice (he will not sugar coat anything), but overall he loves his children.
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Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US DHHS, ACF.