Becoming a Shelby County leader

Published 10:06 am Tuesday, April 17, 2012

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Last week, I took part in my last Leadership Shelby County day as a member of the class of 2012.

We participated in Quality of Life Day, which offered a forum for several different charitable organizations and nonprofits to show us what they offer in terms of volunteer opportunities.

Like every other Leadership Shelby County day, I came away from Quality of Life Day with a new perspective on our county and what we have available to us.

From the very beginning of this Leadership cycle, when my group quickly went from classmates to friends during a two-day retreat, I knew I was part of something special.

As we went through our class days, such as Shelby County Day, Economic Development Day, Healthcare Day, Justice Day and Education Day, we all realized more and more how special Shelby County is, and how blessed we are to get to live here.

This county is led by some of the smartest and most innovative leaders I have ever met. Everyone we heard from during Leadership Shelby County (and there were a lot of them) showcased a deep desire to keep our county constantly moving forward, which has helped ignite that fire in me.

Leadership Shelby County is such a well-established program that it immediately garners respect. When people find out I’m in Leadership Shelby County, immediately that elicts one of two responses (and sometimes both): “Wow, that’s great!” and “I’m really interested in doing Leadership Shelby County, too!”

Being part of Leadership Shelby County has given me some amazing experiences and clued me into what Shelby County is all about.

Next month, when my class graduates, I’ll be proud to be a Leadership alum. I encourage any of you who might be interested in participating in Leadership Shelby County to check out There’s also a youth program for you future county leaders who want to get a head start.

While it’s impossible not to be proud of living in Shelby County, being in Leadership Shelby County makes you part of the county’s vision and proud of where we’re all headed. It’s an incredible experience, and I’m so honored to have been a part of it.

Amy Jones can be reached at