The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jul. 14, 2024

12 graduate from Leadership Van Wert Co.

Submitted information

Leadership is not a character trait. It is a skill, a discipline that requires conviction, creative focus and vision. 12 individuals from area businesses successfully graduated from the 2022 Leadership Van Wert County program.

The classes are facilitated by the Van Wert Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Northwest State Community College. The Class of 2022 spent the last nine months discovering how to further develop their leadership skills and then how to best use those skills not only in their workplace, but in our community.

Shown is the 2022 Leadership Class after Wednesday’s Recognition Breakfast at Willow Bend Country Club. Employers that sponsor their employees pay their tuition and support them throughout the nine months of leadership development opportunities. Photo submitted

This year’s class, along with each of the class member’s supervisors, celebrated their graduation at Willow Bend County Club on Wednesday. Each participant was recognized individually and presented with a certificate of graduation. Perhaps most impressive about this year’s class is the success of their group project to raise money for landscaping for the newly constructed Humane Society of Van Wert County facility. The class was able to raise over $8,000.

“Competitive, diligent with extraordinary leadership potential is how I would describe this class,” stated Van Wert Chamber President/CEO Mark Verville. “The participants are already leaders in our community. They not only have vision and a passion for the companies they work for, but a passion to see the Van Wert community prosper and grow.”

The 12 graduates are Terra Bonifas, 1st Federal Savings and Loan; Joey Bowen, Central Insurance; Amelia Clouse, Central Insurance; Alixandria Ebel, Braun Ambulances; Nan Grace, Shultz Huber & Associates; Erika McIntosh, Central Insurance; Laney Nofer, Van Wert County Foundation; Solomon Okang, Braun Ambulances; Kade Pollock, Tenneco, Inc.; Tressa Ringwald, United Way of Van Wert County; Jazmine Smith, Central Insurance, and Paula Van Tilberg, Vantage Career Center.

The class met once monthly during the last nine months diving into leadership topics presented by local experts and discovering more about the Van Wert community. Each class member also attended at least two local, non-profit Board of Directors meetings and presented a report on what the organization’s goals and mission are.

Leadership Van Wert County was founded in 1994 as a community wide leadership development program for a diverse group of citizens to enable them to effectively serve their community. The goal of the Leadership Van Wert Program is to identify, develop and motivate potential community leaders.

Nomination information for next year’s Leadership Van Wert County will be made available in October. Anyone wishing more information, shoud contact the Chamber Office by phone at 419.238.4390, by email at or by visiting

POSTED: 09/08/22 at 3:45 am. FILED UNDER: News