March 19, 2013, Muncie, Indiana – LEAD-ECI Board President, Ray Chambers, announced the establishment of a long-term partnership with the Hamer D. & Phyllis C. Shafer Foundation today at a news conference and celebration at the Innovation Connector in Muncie. This partnership results in the transformation and renaming of LEAD-ECI to The Shafer Leadership Academy. The announcement was made to a gathering of more than 100 community leaders, members of the Shafer Foundation Board of Directors, members of the LEAD-ECI Board of Directors, and numerous LEAD-ECI Alumni.
“Believing that the mission of LEAD-ECI is consistent with the passions of Hamer & Phyllis Shafer and the foundation that bears their name, we have established this partnership to impact leadership development in our region now and for decades to come” said Chambers. He went on to outline the benefits of the arrangement. “This partnership will have immediate and measurable impact on past, present and future graduates of our programs. There are a number of outcomes afforded by this strategic partnership including:
- The financial support this partnership provides lays a foundation for the long-term sustainability of leadership development activities in East Central Indiana;
- Additionally, it allows us to expand the work we are doing throughout all the communities of East Central Indiana, which is consistent with our strategic plan objectives;
- This partnership allows us to focus even more of our administrative and creative resources on program development & delivery, identification of student candidates, engaging program alumni, and adjusting for the regions leadership needs of the future;
- And lastly, we believe this is a fitting tribute to Hamer & Phyllis Shafer.”
“LEAD-ECI believes it is important that the community learn from Hamer & Phyllis Shafer’s “Legacy of Leadership”, and our organization feels strongly about working to preserve, perpetuate, and repeat their leadership ideals, examples, and results,” said Chambers. “Years from now when someone asks why the Shafer name is attached to our organization, the response will be: The Shafer’s unique Legacy of Leadership helped to develop individuals who made a difference with their employers, their families, and their communities by increasing their leadership skills and their level of community service.”
Founded by a group of community leaders with financial support and encouragement from The Ball Brothers Foundation, LEAD-ECI launched its pilot leadership program entitled LEAD (Leadership Education & Development) in the summer of 2007. Based on the initial success and tremendous feedback to classes in 2007 and 2008, the academy took form in 2009 when it incorporated as a not-for-profit organization, formed a Board of Directors and hired an Executive Director. In addition to doubling the frequency of its core class offering, now called EMERGENCE, LEAD-ECI also expanded its impact through the development of additional leadership courses and events. From 2010 to 2012, LEAD-ECI introduced five new leadership training programs bringing its total course offerings to six.
With a mission to ensure that individuals who have the desire to demonstrate leadership in East Central Indiana have access to world class leadership training close to home, this year alone the Shafer Leadership Academy will deliver more than 3,000 student hours of leadership training to more than 200 participants. These program participants will represent businesses, nonprofit organizations, school systems, and government entities and come from nearly every county in East Central Indiana.
Shafer Foundation Chairman Terry Walker also shared his thoughts on the partnership. “On behalf of the board of directors of the Shafer Foundation, we are thrilled that the legacy of Hamer & Phyllis Shafer and their commitment to the development of individuals as leaders will live on through the Shafer Leadership Academy as you share their story with your participants, corporate partners, and program supporters.”
For more information about The Shafer Leadership Academy and its programs, visit www.shaferleadership.com or call 765-748-0403.