Showing leadership through projects

Published 10:31 am Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The 2011 class of Leadership Shelby County has presented its group projects and graduated. As you know, I am firmly committed to Leadership because of the contributions it makes to the quality of life in our county.

This year’s class presented three projects. One of the projects, Food Connect, is designed to feed the hungry and support the service organizations such as food banks. In 2009, one in four households in Alabama faced hunger.

I know that there are many in Shelby County who are dealing with hunger due to the current economic climate. Food Connect has produced and distributed a directory that is designed to educate our community about sources of food for the hungry as well as opportunities for those who wish to volunteer by providing food to neighbors in need.

Another project is designed to promote Shelby County tourism through social networking. Our county has many attractions and events that appeal to a wide range of people. When visitors come to our county, they spend money and that helps all of us through increased economic activity.

This project recognizes that social networking, specifically Facebook, is a valuable tool for increasing the visibility of our county to visitors. The group has designed a new, exciting logo, distributed pocket cards and created a Facebook page that should result in more visitors to our county. Promoting our county in this way will have far reaching benefits for us all.

The third project concerned the Shelby County Family Resource Center. This organization is committed to strengthening family relationships. The group examined our county family resource center, the family resource centers of other counties and interviewed stakeholders and experts in this field.

The group has developed a strategy to empower the Shelby County Family Resource Center so it can coordinate services, fill in gaps in services and thereby prevent problems that destroy families.

Leadership Shelby County presents the opportunity for all participants to shape the future of our county and leave a lasting legacy. I congratulate the members of the 2011 class for continuing this great tradition.

Jim Fuhrmeister is the Shelby County Probate Judge.