LIMA — With a group of 29 professionals in both the public and private sector, Allen Lima Leadership began its 29th class Wednesday at the Equestrian Therapy Program at Fassett Farm, starting the process of raising up a new group of community leaders looking to not only learn about Lima and Allen County and what institutions are here, but find a way to help make this community better.
“The orientation for the new leadership class kicks off the year for us,” ALL Executive Director Heather Rutz said. “We get the class together for two days and do some team building activities and some get-to-know-you kinds of things to get the group working together and functioning really well. Most of these people don’t know each other coming into the program.”
This is the first orientation to be held at Fassett Farm, offering not only a new setting for the orientation, but also introducing a different dynamic to the exercises, with therapy horses even used during some of the activities.
“The experience with the horses is really very magical,” Rutz said. “A lot of people don’t have experiences with horses in their daily lives. We were just talking about how just the sight of a horse and working with a horse can be special and cool, but also really intimidating. So this helps people get out of their comfort zones, which is a good place to be in when you want people to learn and have things stick. But it’s also just a special experience, and with the orientation a signature part of the program, we wanted it to be memorable.”
Two members of the class, Peggy Hance of Superior Credit Union and Seth Bowersock of Allen County Children Services, had positive reviews of their initial experience with both the leadership program and Fassett Farm.
“It’s great getting to know new people and get out of our comfort zone,” Hance said. “For me, it’s about learning more about the county and area we live in, what the different businesses do.”
“It’s about what we can do to benefit the community, based on all of our experience that we have here, figuring out something that can better the area,” Bowersock said.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.