Leadership Portales set to start in fall



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Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce member Megan Hamilton would like to see new faces in leadership positions in her native home of Roosevelt County.

As someone who has stepped up to hold leadership roles in the community she loves, she and other community leaders want to extend their hands to the community through a new program aimed at developing leadership skills and resources.

Leadership Portales, which is set to begin in the fall, is designed to provide a series of educational and participatory experiences for 20 individuals each year, according to a chamber press release.

Hamilton said the idea was brought to her when she was president of the chamber by fellow member Ronnie Birdsong, who was familiar with similar programs in communities she had previously lived in.

Hamilton, who is chair of the Leadership Portales Committee, said she hopes to recruit a diverse group for the pilot program, which is open to everyone in the community.

The nine-month program will consist of nine full-day sessions once a month, beginning with a retreat in September and ending with a graduation in May.

“We’re hoping to get people who are established within the community and help others learn how great Portales is,” Hamilton said.

The program’s tuition is $400, which includes course materials, a shirt, a portfolio with a logo, travel and meals.

The sessions will include forums, tours and discussions on subjects including government, quality of life, education, health care, economy, human services, industry, technology and community heritage.

Hamilton said her desire to see new blood in leadership roles is what inspired the program.

“I was very tired of seeing the same people involved in every organization,” she said. “We’re hoping to attract a more diverse group and let people know about all the benefits and great things happening in our area. I want people to see how great the community is.”

She thinks the group will also act as a source of support.

“I’m a big believer that this can make a change in our area,” Hamilton said.

Committee member and director of marketing at KENW-TV Sheryl Borden said she is excited for the program because she can see a need in her service organizations to develop leadership among the younger members.

“This is a great way to do it,” Borden said.

Though Borden has lived in Portales her entire life, she’s excited to learn as much history as she can about her hometown. She feels the sessions will be fun, interesting and informative.

Borden added Portales’ population has grown in the last several years and she thinks the program is a good way for new community members to become involved.

“There’s so much to be gained knowing who lives close to you, who works next door,” Borden said. “...I think it makes people feel more welcome.”


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