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Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

Eleven community movers and shakers are preparing to take on a bigger role in shaping the future, by participating in a program called Leadership Fortuna. The group meets once a week to learn about a variety of subjects and to take field trips for a firsthand look at several local businesses.

This is the second year of the program conducted through the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce. Chamber CEO Erin Dunn said, “The Fortuna Chamber felt it was vital to our future to engage business and community leaders in a program that provides an opportunity to see first-hand how Fortuna, the Eel River Valley and our County operates.”

This group has already toured Eel River Resource Recovery's recycling operation, and has plans for onsite visits to Redwood Memorial Hospital and Humboldt Redwood Company. Members have also learned about public safety and Fortuna city government.

Upcoming topics include the Fortuna Planning Department; meeting with county government officials including 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell, county administrative officer Philip Smith-Hanes and Board of Supervisors Clerk Kathy Hayes; hearing from representatives of state and federal elected officials; and understanding the media.

Dunn explained that Leadership Fortuna was formed as a hybrid of Leadership Redding and Leadership Santa Rosa, “with a little bit of our own Humboldt uniqueness thrown in.”

The participants will “graduate” from the program at the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner, scheduled for Monday, April 29.

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

2013 Leadership Fortuna participants are: Back row (l - r) Lisa Whitchurch, Rod Allen, Troy Ingold, Tiara Brown, and Amanda Nelson. Front row seated (l - r) Denise Mildbrandt, Robin Paul, Denise Marshall, and Debby Tucker. Not pictured is Brian Gonzalez.