GREENFIELD – City, town and nonprofit officials from throughout Hancock County recently completed a course designed to develop leadership and offer practical takeaways to improve the community.

A total of 32 people recently completed the Community Development Course, a two-anda- half day program presented by Ball State University’s Indiana Communities Institute.

The event was co-hosted by the Hancock County Community Foundation (HCCF) and Hancock Economic Development Council (HEDC).

“The ICI Community Development Course provided Hancock County leaders with a common community development framework,” Cumberland Assistant Town Manager Christine Owens said in a press release.

“This framework can be used to guide the county’s growth while protecting its character and heritage. I’m excited to see what new ideas will come to fruition.” Instructors for the course were Dr. Michael Fortunato of Creative Insight Community Development; and David Terrell and Brian Blackford with Ball State University’s Indiana Communities Institute. They led sessions, including individual and group exercises, on addressing new community development challenges and opportunities in a creative and comprehensive manner.

“‘Companies follow people and people follow communities’ was a takeaway from this course,” Jason Wells, director of Leadership Hancock County, said. “The time and dedication we use to develop our community will help guide the growth and companies that follow.”

Mary Gibble, president and CEO of the HCCF, said the time and effort attendees gave was evidence that they want the community to thrive.

“Class participants were very involved and will now be better prepared to engage all citizens in various initiatives making our community an even more vibrant place to live, work and play for generations to come,” she said. “This course is just the first we plan to offer to convene diverse groups for the betterment of Hancock County.”
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