Serving up the arts

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Cooking up art, education, graduation for 2010 Leadership Development Program class

By: Kim Walker

Future leaders wrapped up their last session of the Leadership Development Program (LDP) by exploring Education & the Arts in October. The group had no need for breakfast before the session because a tour of Johnson & Wales University was first on the agenda. Community Outreach Director Bernice Parenti led the class on the tour where the participants took in delicious smells and tasted fresh baked breads, pastries and goodies. They were able to watch students “plate” their dishes for “practicals,” which are students’ weekly exams. The culinary-arts school never fails to please the palate. Students and teachers move in tandem to prep, cook, plate and set up the morning buffet, which is deliciously disguised as an exam. Needless to say, this tour is an experience future leaders always savor!

Next, the class enjoyed a working lunch with District 6 School Board Member Tim Morgan and Elizabeth Barnhardt, the association’s director of government affairs. The always-enthusiastic Morgan answered questions for 90 minutes regarding Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) proposed changes. The team dispelled many rumors and set the record straight about budget shortfalls and the school system.

Enjoying the arts
The afternoon led the class to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Future leaders took in the quiet and calming galleries of the Gantt Center in a relaxing self-guided exploration of thought-provoking exhibits. At the Bechtler, the class learned a few things about modern art —with bits of history intertwined — as the museum docent peppered the class with questions about what the artists’ images and various sculptures evoke in our

sure their friends, families and any arts aficionados were aware of Charlotte’s newest gems.

2010 comes to a close
In early November, the 2010 class met for graduation exercises on a cold, damp day at the beautiful VanLandingham Estate. The mid-morning cider reception warmed up graduates, brokers-in-charge (BICs) and association leadership in a networking session just before commencement.

2010 association/CMLS President Lyn Kessie welcomed the group and shared brief remarks about the year. 2010 LDP Committee Chair Suzanne Coddington thanked the committee and introduced the graduates. Before receiving their certificates and being pinned by their BICs, graduates briefly presented their nominations for the 2010 Humanitarian Award. Terri Marshall, executive director of the Housing Opportunity Foundation, added remarks, well-wishes and thank yous to the class for their nominations. The day ended with smiles, pictures, hugs and reminders that association leadership is eagerly looking forward to their future involvement.

Congratulations to the 2010 Leadership Development Program class graduates!