Leadership Sevier has impacted community in its 17 years

Apr. 21, 2014 @ 12:05 AM

This past week Leadership Sevier and Leadership Tomorrow, two county groups created to help cultivate leadership qualities in promising individuals gathered to tour Sevier County and learn from government leaders about issues facing the county.

It was an intriguing day, full of question-and-answer sessions with the movers and shakers in the decision-making positions of county government.

But perhaps the most important takeaway from the day was the importance of the Leadership programs themselves, especially when it comes to county harmony and cooperation.

Leadership Sevier often brings people together that wouldn’t normally interact in everyday situations.

Over the years a variety of friendships have been forged through the program. Those friendships have helped cultivate great things, not just personally for the individuals involved, but for all citizens of the county.

Years ago, our neighboring cities were very competitive and remained fairly distinct in anything they did. There was very little cooperation. 

After a late 1980s necessity — dealing with solid waste — forced some cooperation, Leadership helped facilitate another important milestone, meaningful communication.

“(Program founders) wanted a program in which leaders from all parts of the county could get together to network and discuss and act on issues of common concern,” the Leadership Sevier website reads in a segment about the organization’s history. “The concept would provide a forum to showcase Sevier County, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tourism, Community Services and Emergency Services.”

Partnership across Sevier County today is much better than it was just a few decades ago.

There’s little doubt that Leadership Sevier — with members from all walks of life in each city and community in Sevier County — has helped foster that constructive environment. And it’s that environment, success for all, that can help keep Sevier County thriving.