The Leadership Mobile Class of 2018 concluded their yearlong program with project presentations and graduation on September 7, 2018 at the Ben May Library. Class Dean County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood guided 44 professionals through this year’s annual program. The class learned about the community through eight focus areas: education, civility, community development, environment, community health and wellness, arts and culture, economic development, and diversity and inclusion. Eight teams created and implemented projects for the betterment of the community, while addressing the issues studied throughout the year.
The Leadership Mobile Education Team and the Bounce Back Youth Leadership Foundation partnered with several local organizations to create the “Gardens for Growth” Program. The program assists local youth-focus organizations in the development, construction, and implementation of an in-ground garden, along with the garden an activity book is provided as an educational tool. The group has assembled gardens at the Dearborn YMCA and Scarborough Middle School with hopes of growing the program at other locations.
The Leadership Mobile Civility Team has organized Mobile’s first “Speed Date with Local Leaders” on September 25, 2018 at Government Plaza from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The team has announced County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood, Honorable Edmond Naman of Mobile Family Court, Bess Rich from City Council District 6, and MCPSS Superintendent Chresal Threadgill will be among the participating leaders. The team hopes this event will be the first step in promoting civility throughout our community and beyond.
The Leadership Mobile Community Development Team has created a partnership with Visit Mobile, Destination Mobile, the City of Mobile and other valuable stakeholders to make the Mobile River the “Front Porch of Leisure” for the city. The group envisions Cooper Riverside Park as an area regularly utilized by citizens and visitors for enjoyment and to celebrate Mobile’s culture through eco-tourism opportunities, where a floating dock has been installed as a launching point for eco-adventures provided by Wild Native Tour. In the future, containers may be added to the park to house a vender market.
The Leadership Mobile Environmental Team has teamed up with the Alabama Coastal Foundation and other partners to build a new, self-sustaining oyster reef in Mobile Bay. The reef will be built at Point Aux Pins, to help combat the decrease in Mobile Bay’s oyster production. The oyster shells being used to build the reef are being provided by Alabama Coastal Foundation. The construction of the project totals about $1500 and the oyster reef is set to take place within the next few weeks. The group is accepting donations to help with the cost and welcoming volunteers with personal boats, kayaks, etc to help with the build.
The Leadership Mobile Community Health and Wellness Team volunteered at the 3rd annual Love U Love U Day on July 28th from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at The Grounds. The team partnered with Feeding the Gulf Coast to help individuals facing food insecurities, by identifying food pantries or soup kitchens near their homes. Using the Feeding the Gulf Coast website, the team was able to locate food pantries or soup kitchens located near an individual’s address. By the end of the event, the team had helped 93 people identify food pantries or soup kitchens near their homes.
The Leadership Mobile Arts and Culture Team identified two schools of contrasting demographics to experience a Duck Boat tour of Downtown Mobile together, Clark-Shaw Magnet School and Scarborough Middle School. The team conducted extensive research and found that students from lower income households lack access to the Arts, which has led to a decrease in students’ interest in the subject. The tour will be rooted in Mobile’s rich arts and culture, while also facilitating an outing that intentionally brings together those who may not otherwise interact.
The Leadership Mobile Economic Development Team created the mentorship program Mobile Enriching and Engaging the Next Generation (MEET NextGen). The purpose of the program is to encourage and aid in the growth and development of next generation careers in Mobile. The project included designing and facilitating the mentorship program, which includes building opportunities for collaborative NextGen tech professional growth.
The Leadership Mobile Diversity and Inclusion Team have partnered with the City of Mobile to establish an annual weekend to celebrate the diversity of citizens and to encourage inclusion. The weekend will honor “Mobile’s Dynamic Duos.” The duos include Edna and Caesar Rivers, community activists since the 1960s; Charles Fails and Dan Williams, who have served the homeless and those re-entering society post-incarceration; and Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand, who fought for marriage equality to allow for equal parenting rights. The date of the Diversity and Inclusion weekend will be determined and announced soon.
The graduates of this year’s class include:
Mr. LeMaris Alston, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Kevin Ball, Ball Healthcare Services
Ms. Meagan Barnett, Barnett Millworks
Ms. Porsche Blount, Nouryon
Mr. Brian Campbell, Sanofi Genzyme Pharmaceuticals
Ms. Yvette Chestang, Communications/PR Consultant
Mr. David Clark, Visit Mobile
Mr. Shawn Conklan, Devin Ford Photography
Mr. Antonio Dale, Dale’s Medical Supply
Reverend Michael Davis, Big Zion A.M.E. Zion Church
Mrs. Sherrica Davis-Hunt, United Way of Southwest Alabama
Mr. Sam Dean, University of South Alabama Medical Center
Mrs. Erin Delaporte, Alabama Power Company
Mrs. Shauna DeShazo, Airbus Americas, Inc.
Major Bareneise Dixon, Mobile Police Department
Mr. Lee Dzwonkowski, Trustmark National Bank
Mrs. Sally Ericson, Bellingrath Gardens & Home
Mrs. Natalie French, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors
Mrs. Anna Goldman, Warren Averett, LLC
Ms. Justine Herlihy, Mobile Baykeeper
Ms. Colette Huff, Dearborn YMCA
Mrs. Christy Hudson-Jones, Goodwill EasterSeals of the Gulf Coast
Ms. Pebbles King, Mobile County Health Department
Mrs. Sara King, Mobile County Public School System
Mrs. Grayson Knight-Schemer, Volunteers of America Southeast, Inc.
Mr. Brian Lang, Huntington-Ingalls Industry, Inc.
Mrs. Gennifer McGeary, Northpointe Bank
Mrs. Amelia Mitchell, Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Mr. Andrew Odom, Coastal Bank & Trust, a Division of Synovus
Mrs. Shasta O’Donnell, HDR, Inc.
Ms. Samantha Richardson, City of Prichard Councilmember
Mrs. Denise Riemer, Mobile County Public School System
Mrs. Sara Roberts, Roberts Brothers
Mr. John Ruzic, Sam Winter and Company Real Estate
Mr. David Schmohl, Jubileescape
Mr. Michael Schubert, Websafe
Mr. Rassie Smith III, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office
Ms. Juanita Spinks, Mobile County Department of Human Resources
Mrs. Marion Steinfels
Mrs. Felicia Thomas, Mobile Area Water and Sewer System
Mr. Neal Townsend, Adams and Reese LLP
Mrs. Contina Woods, Regions Bank
Mr. T. Gaines Zarzour, Zarzour Companies
Mr. Jeffrey Zeiders, Cigarclub.com