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Leadership TriCounty- February

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Posted on Monday, May 23, 2022
By: Hailey Heimbach
Categories: General

Leadership TriCounty February Session


Our February Leadership class focused on governmental and advocacy topics, and we heard from two advocates within the Pottstown community. Our day started with hearing from Peggy Lee-Clark from Pottstown Area Economic Development (PAED) about advocacy and how it is a never-ending process. She reviewed the different types of audiences when considering what you are advocating for – local, state, and federal. It is also important to understand the message of the ask and if the representative you are speaking to is responsible for what you are advocating for.  One important factor she touched on was about balancing the unintended consequences of your ask; what are the non-negotiables and what can you live with not changing. 

She also explained the time it takes for change to be implemented due to the numbers required for legislation to be passed through. In the PA House, it is 102 seats, Senate is 26 seats and then eventually the Governor. Additionally, she touched on party politics versus governing and the challenges that come from our current hyper-political environment. One of my biggest takeaways was that local elections matter and to become an educated voter before heading to the polls.


Next, we heard from Stephen Rodriguez, the Superintendent of Pottstown School District. He shared his leadership journey from being a teacher to transitioning to school administration. During his 6-year tenure of being a superintendent, he shared some of the challenge the district has faced from educating students, diversity of teachers, social-emotional learning, and the impact Covid had on the District. He expressed his gratitude for his staff in all they accomplished during this stressful time and how they had to complete reinvent what and how the district served their students. He shared his biggest lesson as a leader is “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and how culture is built, and leadership sets the pace and tone for culture within an organization. 


Our day wrapped up with a discussion and conversations on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our workplaces. The conversations focused on creating awareness and growing forward from there. We also learned about the PCIHO Model of Culture Change. We discussed the different roles of this model and which role we felt we most aligned with in both our professional and personal lives.  


Throughout the day, we had the opportunity to discuss our upcoming graduation in June, continue to build relationships with our fellow classmates and help each other through challenges we’re facing. I’m looking forward to continuing to build relationships and grow and learn through our remaining time together. 


Written by: Heather Stehman, Leadership TriCounty Class of 2022

Tagged:General, Information, Chamber, Leadership TriCounty

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TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce

152 East High Street, Suite 200
Pottstown, PA 19464

Phone: 610.326.2900