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Leadership Citrus Heights: course to offer training for business, civic life

View of the fountain outside the new city hall in Citrus Heights. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
Want to better understand local government and develop more leadership and management skills? The Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce will soon be launching its 2017 Leadership Citrus Heights classes, with a goal of developing local community leaders, activists, visionaries and advocates at all levels.

Past graduates of the program can be found in various positions of leadership throughout the city, including current city council members Steve Miller and Albert Fox, as well as newly appointed planning commissioner Porsche Middleton, who graduated from last year’s program.

Meeting once a month from October through June, the $495 course promises to take aspiring leaders through an inside look at how city government works, along with a crash course in the history of Citrus Heights, public speaking, entrepreneurship, and more. A finalized schedule has not yet been released on the Chamber’s website, but a draft schedule published in June listed the following topics:

  • History of the City of Citrus Heights incorporation, cityhood, and ethics
  • Stress and Time Management, City of Citrus Heights quality of life
  • Economic & Community Development, conflict resolution
  • History of Citrus Heights: arts & history, entrepreneurship, and strategic planning
  • Public Safety: Citrus Heights Police and Metro Fire, code enforcement
  • Mock City Council Experience, public speaking, and project management
  • City, County Management & Finance, effective communication
  • History of Citrus Heights Business Districts & Associations
  • Community Partners, The Fish, bus tour of Citrus Heights

Councilman Miller said taking the Leadership Citrus Heights course in its inaugural year back in 2003 “lit a fire” under him, with one instructor telling him words he still remembers today: “You need to step outside your comfort zone and see what is and what can be.” Miller, who led students in the class on a bus tour of the city earlier this year, said the course helps develop personal, professional, social and city-wide leadership skills — and it likely played a role in helping him get appointed to the city council in 2005.

“Half the battle in leadership is showing up,” the councilman said. “It actually might be 100 percent of the battle.”

The course was first brought to the city under the leadership of Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins, who said she began working in 2001 to launch the program — modeling the class after a similar program offered by the Folsom Chamber of Commerce. She said the class continued to be held yearly until around 2012 and was later re-started in 2016 under the leadership of both Bruins and former councilman Mel Turner.

“It mattered because we saw some really solid leaders come out of this,” said Bruins. “It piques interest and helps people understand why things are the way they are.”

Classes are typically up to 25 students in size, with meetings to be held on the first Wednesday of each month at a room in city hall. The Chamber’s Renee Larscheid confirmed on Thursday that enrollment in the course is still open, with the deadline to enroll being Aug. 31 this year. Scholarships are also offered for one high school student from each high school in Citrus Heights.

Classes are scheduled to begin on Oct. 4, 2017 and conclude with a June 6 graduation next year, according to an information packet. Classes are typically held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with lunch included mid-day. Larscheid said applicants do not need to be Chamber members and are also not required to live in Citrus Heights.

Enrollment information:










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