Even though I was the oldest of four children, growing up I always seemed to feel “out leader-d” by my younger sister, Kayla. I always admired her strong-willed spirit of leadership and her ability to take total control of a situation and handle it with confidence. Some days it wasn’t so admirable as she’d demand that I stop what I was doing to make her oddly favorite meal of scrambled eggs! It wasn’t until later on in high school that I felt a strong realization inside of me that I too could be a leader, and just recently in my new job at the Chamber have I been given the opportunities to learn how to be a better steward of my leadership. I think that the majority of people used to think the same way I do in that there are only a select few in this world who are born to be “leaders.” But think about it: everything you speak, every decision that you make, has an influence on people. Everyone has influence, leadership results in influence, so therefore I believe that everyone is a leader in each of his/her own way!

Whether at church, school, business or home, you are leading people and projects every day. You’re leading in a culture that is constantly changing and redefining itself. Leadership takes perseverance, dedication and a commitment to stretch your mind, expand your heart and use your God-given gifts to impact your world in real and powerful ways.

The Newton Area Chamber’s Leadership Newton committee is pleased to have become a site host for this year’s Global Leadership Summit this coming August 10-11, 2017 at First Baptist Church. This event is attended by over 400,000 peers from 128 countries and 60 languages for two days of world-class leadership training that is accessed through a live telecast of the Summit in Bangor, Maine, the GLS Premier Host site. During these two days of training, you will receive a unique blend of vision, inspiration and practical skills that you can apply immediately to transform yourself and your community. We will have the opportunity to hear from world-class speakers such as Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook; Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC’s The Profit; and Immaculee Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide.

If you are a Chamber member, there is currently a host site special rate of $89 that will be available until July 11th before the pricing increases. There are non-member rates and group rates available as well as discounts for students and military. If you are interested in attending or curious of more pricing, please feel free to call me at the Chamber to learn more or visit our website at: www.thenewtonchamber.org. I am truly thankful to have been given this opportunity to attend this event and learn from the best of the best on what it means to be a leader with influence. It is my desire that as you attend this event you will see that everyone has influence and the ability to create positive change. Once we improve our leadership, we will impact lives, churches, businesses, governments, schools and families. I eagerly look forward to maximizing my influence and it is my hope that you will too.

— Courtney Critchfield is director of marketing and communications for the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at 283-2560 or via email at courtney@thenewtonchamber.org