Catoosa County administrators and staff have been recognized for their outstanding accomplishments following a year-long leadership development program.

During the Board of Commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday night, Jan. 5, County Manager Alicia Vaughn discussed the program, how it came to fruition, and introduced the company that helped cultivate the county’s leadership journey.

“Tonight I have the honor of introducing Bill Stark and Tim Fenbert of LeaderGov,” Vaughn said. “Those of you that know me know that I have a passion for leadership development — it’s something I feel very strongly about.”

Vaughn said she and Human Resources Director Ann Cain put their heads together to come up with ideas on how to better provide leadership development for employees. After doing some research, the duo found LeaderGov, which is a company that focuses on helping companies and governments with the leadership seminars and workshops they need.

“We have amazing department heads, and I think one of the biggest assets that we have in this county is our people,” Vaughn said. “For me, it’s an honor to be able to provide leadership development to our awesome leaders.”

The training consisted of both in-person meetings, and online modules that employees completed.

“They’ve come in and provided us with a lot of great opportunity to learn about ourselves, our leadership style, and I’ve just been blessed to be part of the experience,” Vaughn said. “They took us on a 12-month journey, and we’ve learned so much — how to be better servant leaders, how to help our citizens, how to build our teams, and how to provide the tools and resources our people need to be able to do their jobs, and how to be better communicators.”

Company founders Stark and Fenbert complimented not only the employees who received awards, but also the county’s entire team for its work in seeking out the kind of training their company provides.

“You are very fortunate to have a county that believes in its people and invests in its people because it’s those people who serve you,” Stark said.

“There was over 1,000 hours worth of training consisting of approximately 700 different online courses,” Fenbert added. “It really was amazing what was achieved last year.”

Jim White was the only Fire Department employee in attendance to receive his award, but the Stark and Fenbert recognized five employees in total, as well as the county as a whole.

Randy Camp, Jennifer Barr, Daniel Walston, and Glen Davis were also recognized during the presentation.

For HR Director Ann Cain, she says she’s already seen results from the development in day-to-day operations.

“It has made our departments more successful because we’re working better together,” Cain said. “It’s been extremely beneficial for us.”

After handing out the awards, Stark emphasized that the county and its staff really put in a lot of hard work to get the most out of the development experience.

“We’ve worked with a lot of local governments in Georgia, and Catoosa County is probably in the top five-percent in terms of commitment, results, and the effort that they are putting into this leadership development program,” Stark said. “Catoosa County should be very proud of the staff, administration, and the commission for supporting this kind of effort.”

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009.

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