After a great response from 2012 class members, Leadership Kansas decided to make a return visit to Rooks County last Thursday, September 25. The 40 members that make up this year’s class came away just as impressed as their predecessors.
The morning began with a tour of the Dessin Fournir buildings and operations in downtown Plainville. Owner Chuck Comeau talked to the class about how the company began and how it came to be located in Plainville. The class was then given tours of the various operations located throughout the facilities, including Palmer Hargrave, Classic Cloth, and Rose Cumming.
In a class discussion later in the morning on rural development, class member Kirby Brown, Deputy to the Commanding General in Fort Leavenworth, commented on Dessin Fournir stating, “What they have done is a model for what can be done in rural America.”
After the Dessin Fournir tour, the class headed to Rooks County Health Center for a panel discussion on rural healthcare. Panelists for the discussion moderated by Hays Med CEO John Jeter were Dr. Jen Brull from Plainville, Dr. Robert Cox from Hays, and Dave Engel, CEO of the Phillips County hospital. Besides the thoughtful discussion, the class was also given the opportunity to see RCHC in action and experience the unique design of the building. Again, class members were very impressed.
After having a lunch catered at the hospital by Shirley May’s Deli, the class headed to Hays for the remainder of their three-day visit.
Leadership Kansas is one of the oldest and most prestigious statewide leadership programs in the country. It is a statewide program that was designed to enhance and motivate future leaders from various Kansas communities. Each year close to 500 people are nominated to apply for the program. Upon the conclusion of a thorough and thoughtful application and selection process, 40 individuals are selected to participate in the class.
Other communities visited by the 2014 LK class included Garden City, Wichita, Manhattan/Junction City, Kansas City Metro, and Topeka.