Alums planning 2015 Leadership Northeast session say program created opportunities for them

Leadership Northeast alumni (clockwise from bottom left) Kinsley Riggs, Beth Berier and Teresa Kelly meet with the Chamber's Lauren Vaughn to plan the 2015 session recently at Twisted Sisters Coffee Shop.
Leadership Northeast alumni (clockwise from bottom left) Kinsley Riggs, Beth Bernier and Teresa Kelly meet with the Chamber’s Lauren Vaughan to plan the 2015 session recently at Twisted Sisters Coffee Shop.

Alumni of the Leadership Northeast program, sponsored by the Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, say the program has opened the doors to new opportunities for them and exposed them to leadership skills they can put to use right away.

It teaches “how to affect the community outside your normal role,” said Kinsley Riggs, manager of the Corinth Library and a 2013 alum of the program. Roeland Park City Councilor Teresa Kelly said the experience caused her to change occupations. It “opened my eyes to all of the different opportunities I have. It inspired me to quit my job” to find something bigger.

Beth Bernier of Turning Point Home Solutions said after living in Prairie Village for 30 years, she understands more about the people and the issues in the community than ever before – as a result of the Leadership Northeast program.

The program also opens doors through the relationships and connections, including involvement in the Chamber or other leadership programs, the alums said. Approximately 450 graduates have passed through the class in the 25 years of the program.

Bernier, Kelly and Riggs are part of a committee now planning the 2015 session of the program. The program consists of nine all-day sessions from January to May. Each session focuses on a different area of life in NEJC. Only 25 participants are accepted. A LNE alumni and recruitment event will be held October 30 at Chili’s in Merriam.