Pandemic means leadership program to ‘Zoom in’ on Fluvanna

Press release

The Fluvanna Leadership Development Program will “zoom in” on the county beginning Jan. 7 with at least the first classes being virtual via Zoom, due to the pandemic – and the hope that the coronavirus situation will allow some later classes to be more in-person. The group is beginning to sign up a limited number of students for this year’s classes.

“This will be a year like no other, but we like to think it will be better in many ways, despite COVID,” said FLDP co-Chair Rudy Garcia. “For example, students will be able to avoid long drives at night to some of the class locations. And the fact that the Zoom classes will be recorded will give classmates flexibility in when they attend classes.” Due to Zoom limitations, classes also will be shorter and more frequent.

The FLDP has traditionally held its 16 biweekly classes in a variety of locations throughout the county as part of the process of familiarizing classmates with more areas of the county. The classes also have given classmates the chance to meet in person, talk with and ask questions of county leaders, such as county supervisors, the county administrator, the county schools superintendent, leaders of Lake Monticello, leading businesspeople, non-profits and others important to county life.

“Obviously, the in-person part of this is something we have to give up – at least at first – due to the pandemic,” said co-Chair Mike Feazel. “It’s great to be able to meet face-to-face with officials, shake their hands and talk with them, as FLDP always provided. We wrestled with that, but safety and health just have to come first. We still kind of hope the health situation will improve enough for some in-person options. And our classes will be as totally interactive as ever, with classmates able to grill county leaders about anything, and get answers.”

“Regardless, we believe this is a unique opportunity for Fluvanna residents to learn about their county and the people who run it,” said FLDP Treasurer Jackie Bland. “And some of the advantages of this new way of conducting classes we hope will offset some of the disadvantages. In fact, some of the new concepts are so good that we may continue using them even after the pandemic is over.”

FLDP graduates have gone on to leadership positions throughout Fluvanna County – including a majority of members of the county board of supervisors and of the county school board, seats on virtually every county government commission and committee, three of the seven seats on the Lake Monticello Owners Association board, and as participants in virtually every significant service organization and non-profit throughout the county. At last count, members of the 17 classes that graduated from FLDP have held more than 300 positions in Fluvanna.

Others take the class just to feel more at home in the county, and to know who to go to if they need help solving a problem.

Due to the coronavirus, FLDP decided to limit this year’s class to 25 persons, so it’s recommended that those who are interested sign up early. Also, because some FLDP activities will be limited, the fee for this year’s class will be only $25, instead of $50.

Those interested in this year’s FLDP class can get additional information and sign up at Registration will close when the class limit is reached, or Nov. 30. Information about the class is also available at 434-589-1732.

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