At McGee, Hearne & Paiz, LLP (MHP), we know how critically important it is to invest our time in training related to technical topics as this provides the foundation for the high-quality services we provide to our clients. However, at MHP, we also emphasize the importance of, and invest heavily in, leadership training and development. We are not only developing the future leaders of our Firm, but also the future leaders of our community.
One such leadership program with which MHP has a long history is the Leadership Cheyenne Program (the "Program"), which was formed by the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce in 1985 with the goal of developing leaders for the future. The purpose of Leadership Cheyenne is to educate participants about our community and help them develop a desire for, and commitment to, life-long civic trusteeship. Our Firm has been a long-time supporter of the Program, and our most recent participant in the Program is one of our Partners, Brandy Marrou. She joins several members of our Firm as alumni of the Program including Pat McGuire (retired partner), Ken Dugas, Wayne Herr, Robert Dahill, Brenda Elliott, Amber Nuse and Jeff Stacey.
When asked what drove her interest to participate in Leadership Cheyenne, Brandy responded, "Upon moving to Cheyenne, my initial focus was on my career. I have subsequently devoted my time to my family, as well as the various non-profit organizations I serve in the community. I now have a strong desire, and feel a personal obligation, to expand my horizons beyond the walls of my office and my home, and to further develop my knowledge of Cheyenne, its history and the aspirations of its leaders. I believe this program has the ability to assist me in those efforts, in addition to further developing my leadership skills, which will ultimately help me to become a better steward of our community. I am also looking forward to the exposure to the current and future business leaders of our community that this Program provides."
The 2016-2017 Leadership Cheyenne Class consists of 22 individuals representing all aspects of our community – small business, government, not-for-profit and the military. The Program started in September and culminates with the course graduation in June. It is comprised of nine classes covering such topics as tourism and culture, energy and agriculture, education and communication, economic development, local government and legal systems and the military. At the heart of Leadership Cheyenne, is "Civic Trusteeship." When asked to define civic trusteeship, Brandy reflected back to a lesson learned early in life – "One of the principles I remember my mother instilling in me was the commitment to leave everything better than I found it. I believe this concept is at the heart of civic trusteeship. Civic trusteeship requires a heartfelt responsibility and voluntary commitment of your time and energy to make your community stronger than it is today. I have the honor and privilege of knowing several leaders in our community who I believe are the epitome of civic trusteeship. As I reflect on the attributes of each of these leaders, I arrive at a common theme. Despite their successes and hardships, both professionally and personally, they work and live to serve others, often times putting the needs of their community ahead of their own."
With only a few classes remaining in the Program, some of the highlights to date have included a tour of downtown, where participants learned about the history of Cheyenne; observing the legislature in action, and the emotional debate surrounding whether or not guns should be allowed on educational campuses; touring the Capitol while under construction and having the unique opportunity to observe historical artifacts, such as a hidden door in pristine condition located between two walls; and participating in use-of-force simulations by the local Cheyenne Police Department, which provided a renewed respect for what our local first responders face on a daily basis. "I have learned that we get so caught up in our day-to-day activities that we often take what our community has to offer for granted. This program has given me an increased awareness of how important it is to be educated about, and involved in, the critical issues facing our community. The Leadership Cheyenne Program has been an amazing experience, and it has given me the opportunity to develop life-long relationships with current and future leaders, all of whom are passionate about Cheyenne and our community."
Following their graduation in June, Brandy and her fellow Leadership Cheyenne graduates will embark on the journey of implementing their planned class project, which is a community beautification project that will be contributed to Laramie County in the name of the class. Funds to implement the project are generated by the annual Boo-tification Ball, which is held in October and is a costume party hosted by the class. For their class project, the 2016-2017 Leadership Cheyenne class is hoping to partner with another Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce program, the Military Affairs Committee, to construct a "Welcome to Cheyenne" sign to be located near the F.E. Warren Air Force Base.