The Northern California Academy of Leadership (NorCAL) launched its inaugural program with thirty participants from a wide variety of business professions. Sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, NorCAL offers a ten-month program including four two-day seminars, three one-day seminars, a retreat, fieldtrip (Silicon Valley) and a graduation event. Targeting upper management level business leaders, the current class includes participants from throughout the 530 region.
On February 21 NorCAL students were hosted by Premier Mushroom Inc. at the Colusa Industrial Properties conference room. The seminar included components on strength finders with Peggy Jennings-Severe, how an economy grows with Dr. Robert Eyler, Sonoma State, ensuring a healthy, and sustainable food supply for all Californians with Craig McNamara and a time for journaling.
The seminar also included a presentation and question and answer period with Premier Mush-room Inc. CEO John Ashbaugh and a tour of the mushroom farm.
Ray Block, senior VP and regional manager at Wells Fargo stated, “Wells Fargo Bank’s sponsor-ship of the Academy of Leadership is aligned with the bank’s formation in 1852 of providing businesses financials services and a partnership for long term relationships and success. Nor-CAL’s focus on developing future leaders for new and existing businesses in the North State will result in long-term business successes. This leadership foundation gives companies the tools and strategies to move beyond “local success” and truly build into a nationwide and in some cases a global operation. The Chico North State Lending Office of Wells Fargo sees Innovate North State as a partner in establishing support for long term based economies that will provide growth in employment and services for North State communities.”
This year three scholarships were awarded. Through the generosity of the Minasian Family and the Fleming Family three participants are experiencing the opportunity to build strong professional skills, develop personal skills and make strong regional business relationships throughout the region. When asked for their motivation for contributing to NorCAL, Susan Minasian replied, “We want to see the North State continue to be a leader in agriculture. We hope that our involvement will help make it possible for the next generation to be its innovators and leaders.” The scholarships were awarded to Leah Goold-Haws, LGH Marketing, Redding, Crystal Trimble, Alpha Strong, Chico, and Randall Stephens, File Life, Redding. Targeting upper management level business leaders, some of the local Chico businesses represented in the current class include Matson-Isom Accounting, Sierra Nevada Brewery, SunGard, and Wells Fargo Bank.
The program design and content was developed by a group of distinguished business leaders from the 530 region. NorCAL is an initiative of Innovate North State. INS director Jon Gregory commented, “We are thrilled with the quality of guest faculty and the thirty participants that have been selected for the first year of the Northern California Academy of Leadership.” He continued, “The quality of our business leaders has a direct impact on their ability to grow their companies and ultimately the regional economy.” NorCAL director Larry Lane believes the pro-gram is well on its way to accomplishing that goal.