Hudson -- This year's Leadership Hudson class is creating two projects, both to benefit future generations.

The Rotary Club of Hudson Clocktower group created Leadership Hudson in 2002 to fill a leadership vacuum in the community, according to Bob Carter, facilitator and member of the Hudson Leadership Board of Directors.

More than 60 presenters help with the program for the monthly sessions to teach about government, the history of Hudson, community services, schools, businesses and leadership. Each class creates a project to benefit the community.

The Leadership Hudson Class of 2014 presented its two projects May 8 at the Country Club of Hudson during a recognition dinner. The group of 14 divided into two teams.

One team developed a plan for an alumni association to maintain the program. The other group worked on a solar panel project to install solar panels at Barlow Community Center to further the community's "green" initiative.

Alumni group

The 2014 class wants to continue and extend the network for those who have gone through the Leadership Hudson program with a Leadership Hudson Alumni Directory, team member Margot McGimpsey said.

The 2014 class plans to encourage past graduates to remain actively involved; they will create a board to manage the program; they will help sustain past projects and develop new projects; support future Leadership Hudson classes; offer exceptional educational and leadership training sessions; and become a powerful networking tool for the community, McGimpsey said.

"The hope is in 15 or 20 years, Leadership Hudson is still viable," Carter said. "We want to develop continuity. It's a very rewarding road as we go through it."

Solar panels

The solar panel project group chose Barlow Community Center because it was a small building used by a diverse group of people, team member Rhonda Kadish said.

The panels would decrease the city's carbon footprint; become a part of the schools' curriculum; generate clean energy power; become a leader in renewable energy; introduce renewable energy source to the city; and attract new residents and businesses who value progressive energy.

The cost for the project would be $50,000, and someone donated $10,000 May 8. Money will be raised through $1,000 sponsors of a solar panel and $500 donations for bricks with acknowledgement of the $1,000 donations on a plaque inside the center.

Members of the 2014 class attended the May 13 Council workshop to seek permission to place the panels on the roof of Barlow Community Center and said 44 of the 3-by-5-foot panels would provide 25 percent of the power for the city-owned building. The number of panels will be determined by the amount of money raised by the class, said Casey Weinstein, spokesman for the group.

They encouraged the city and Council to establish a policy for renewable energy for businesses and residents in Hudson.

Interim City Manager Scott Schroyer said the city is working on a renewable energy policy and will present it to Council in the fall.

Past projects of Leadership Hudson include Taste of Hudson; Veteran's Memorial at Markillie Cemetery, Hudson Farmer's Market, Junior Leadership Hudson, Screen on the Green, HeArt of Hudson and Race to the Taste.

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The 2014 leadership class

The 2014 class of Leadership Hudson includes Greg Anglewicz, managing member of Anglewicz & Assoc. LLC; Dan Bestic, owner of Veterinary Center of Hudson; Barbara Bos, president of Hudson League for Service; Patrick Bright, senior technical sales engineer for Wave Systems Corp.; Derek Cluse, business manager of Hudson schools; Diane James, employee relations officer/business partner for First Merit Bank; Rhonda Kadish, chair of Hudson Parks Board; Kerri Keller, partner at Brouse McDowell; Margot McGimpsey, director of advancement, College of Public Heath at Kent State University; Mark Richardson, director of community development for the city of Hudson; Pete Stokes, director of strategy for Global End User Computing, Dell Inc.; Rob Strachan, commercial lines account manager for Strachan Novak Insurance; Casey Weinstein, senior account executive for federal markets at Gartner Inc.; and Hoyte Wilhelm, senior pastor at Hudson United Methodist Church.


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