Leadership South Shore Celebrates 2022 Graduates

Leadership South Shore, a renowned leadership development program created by South Shore Bank in collaboration with the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, celebrated its 2022 graduating class at a ceremony at Laura’s Center for the Arts in Hanover. Leadership South Shore is the area’s most coveted leadership development program with a goal of cultivating leaders to be involved in their communities and create positive change for our region and its residents.

The graduation ceremony served as an opportunity for program alums to connect and share stories about how the experience and training is having profound impact on them, resulting in a commitment to transformative leadership. The event also jump-starts the 2022-23 Leadership South Shore season, as members of the incoming cohort mixed with recent graduates, a diverse group of emerging leaders advancing their personal and professional development and making genuine connections through participation in this program.

“My experience with Leadership South Shore was honestly life-changing in a really unique way,” said Abby Parrilla, CEO of The Arc of The South Shore, to the graduates during welcoming remarks. Jaqueline Collins, Principal at Partnering for Performance, echoed that sentiment to start the graduation program, calling it “inspiration to go out into your individual communities and motive others to become involved. That’s what Leadership South Shore is all about, everyone getting involved,” said Collins.

Leadership South Shore Founder Jim Dunphy, CEO at South Shore Bank, delivered opening remarks, telling the graduates the concept is really catching fire. “This program has hit a point that we have a lengthy waiting list to get in, which is wonderful. We created this program to help make our community a better place and create involvement, to get people to know what’s going on, and then in your day-to-day activities try to make things a little better.”

South Shore Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Peter Forman stressed the importance of understanding the needs of the entire community. Leadership South Shore has emerging business and

civic leaders explore community issues and themes around justice, education, health and human services, arts and culture, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“A successful community isn’t successful because it doesn’t have crime, homelessness, or drug addiction. It’s successful because it has a network of leaders who form an infrastructure that helps address the needs of the community and its less fortunate,” said Forman.

Leadership South Shore is a thought-provoking program that examines regional challenges and opportunities through expert panel discussions, virtual and on-site visits, presentations, focus groups, interactive training, and other innovative, experiential activities. Leadership South Shore has produced more than one hundred initiative-taking graduates who take the knowledge obtained during this program to make a positive impact in their workplaces and communities.

“One of the many benefits of this program is it creates connection,” said South Shore Food Bank Executive Director Pam Denholm, one of those highly motivated Leadership South Shore alums. “Being connected results in being happier, less stressed, more engaged at work, and physically healthier. The connections I have made through this program have helped us get more volunteers at the warehouse and to move when we needed more space.”

The 2022 Leadership South Shore graduating class is comprised of 14 emerging leaders who are energized and inspired to improve their communities. “The program helped me feel a sense of belonging and that I was not alone,” said Damion Outar, Founder & CEO of JCO Group of Services. “It brought together people with all kinds of backgrounds and there was room for authenticity, creativity, and innovation. I can guarantee all of us in this class will walk away having learned many new things. There are a lot of leaders on the South Shore thinking of very creative and innovative ways to do business, and this program teaches you to do that while helping the greater good.”

“Leadership South Shore has provided me with wonderful opportunities, and I now have many more resources and connections for the people I serve,” said 2022 graduate Judi Vigna, CEO of Specialized Career Guidance. “This was a transformative experience that really changes your life and how you view the world. Now, we incorporate what we have learned in our everyday lives to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community.”

Leadership South Shore runs from October through May, with a September graduation. Participants attend a program day once each month during fall and spring. To learn more, please click here

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