March 8, 2019

GNHCC leadership program graduates 17

PHOTO | New Haven Biz
PHOTO | New Haven Biz
Cecil Austin, principal of C&H Insurance in Middletown

Embraced by well-wishers and exhorted to go out and make the world a better place, the Leadership Center of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce sent its 2019 class of emerging business leaders out into the world following its graduation and awards dinner Thursday night in Branford.

Seventeen aspiring community leaders and business executives were feted at the dinner, which was presented by the Regional Water Authority and held at Woodwinds. Some 120 family members, colleagues and friends attended.

The chamber's Leadership Center presents two programs each year: Leadership Greater New Haven (LGNH) and Executive Orientation (XO). Both offer participants practical hands-on training in professional development and education in social and economic issues.

Leadership Center graduates came from the private sector, non-profits, utilities and public institutions of higher education.

The programs are "designed for us to become better leaders," said Cecil Austin, principal of C&H Insurance in Middletown, which sells personal, commercial and life insurance.

"Everyone on this team has what it takes to become a great leader," he added.

Organized in four teams of four, LGNH participants this year tackled "strategic problems" posed by the Jewish Community Center, Literacy Volunteers, the New Haven Free Public Library and the American Cancer Society. The LGNH teams were challenged to study the organizations' specific challenges, and then devise and help to implement "strategic solutions." At Thursday's event the four teams offered presentations detailing the project and their outcomes.

Modeled on successful programs offered by a number of other regional chambers of commerce, LGNH is a six-session program designed for professionals at all levels to learn about the region's assets and challenges, and to access the resources and forge relationships to effect positive change. The New Haven program costs $1,800 for employees of Chamber members; $2,400 for others.

Th Executive Orientation is a three-session program targeted specifically at senior executives in the for-profit, non-profit and government sectors. XO tuition is $1,250 for all participants.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 Leadership Center programs. Prospective participants can learn more and register here.

Contact Michael C. Bingham at

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