By Julie Hooker
After one of the first community visioning sessions in 1989, Myles Rademan proposed a leadership program. Four years later, in 1993, he proposed it again, and at that time the City Council gave the go ahead. Leadership Park City was born. In September 2014, Leadership Class XX will graduate.
With an average class size of thirty, including two high school Interact Club members, the program has sent almost 550 graduates into the community and the world. Being accepted into the leadership program is an honor for participants. Each year hundreds apply.
To participate, one must live or work in Park City. Once accepted, each participant is awarded a scholarship funded by generous donations to cover the costs of the program. Therefore, the program is accessible to a diverse group.
Leadership Park City encourages and trains the next group of community leaders. Patterned after other successful programs and the Kellogg National Leadership Program, Leadership Park City offers experiential, long-term, group-oriented learning activities. By exposing participants to the variety of opportunities and current challenges in the community, Leadership Park City encourages people to assume roles within Park City.
To graduate, each leadership class creates a project that will have long-term benefits for the community. For example, classes have implemented “Bag- the-Bag” to eliminate plastic bags, supported “bike-to-work” challenges and encouraged composting with subsidized composters.
The program requires attendance at ten sessions beginning in October. Then, there is a five-day field trip, City Tour, to study the ideas related to trails, open space, redevelopment and workforce housing in cities similar to Park City. But even local reporter Rick Brough knows that, “what happens on City Tour, stays on City Tour.” When you put thirty-plus zealous Leadership Class students with city and county officials, including representatives from the sheriff ’s office, the luxury bus gets crowded, loud and full of fun.
In regard to City Tour, Program Director Myles Rademan notes, “All of the places we’ve visited have proven to be outstanding hosts and cities.” He continues, “When airfares were much cheaper, we sometimes flew to places like Santa Fe, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Vancouver. Now, we bus to communities like Telluride, Crested Butte, Ketchum, Bozeman, and Boise.”
Graduate of the Class of XIV, Lindsey Gideon completed her studies at St. John’s University and now lives in Minnesota. She notes, “I enjoyed the diversity of people that the program attracted. I found the informal conversations to particularly useful. The City Tour helped to shed light on some of the elements we discussed in class and helped to demonstrate practical application of leadership elements we discussed. ”
When asked about what is next, Rademan says, “Now that we’re celebrating our twentieth year, I can only hope that that the program continues.
Through graduates, the program extended into the schools. I’m proud to have played a small part in that.”
Rademan acknowledges the support of his co-director for twelve years, Lisa Cilva Ward, and ReNae Rezac who made the experience fun for everyone.