Longtime leader steps down

HANCOCK COUNTY — Donieta Ross, who has led Leadership Hancock County since 2004, recently announced she will be stepping down from the position after this year’s class graduates in May.

Her 12-year tenure has been marked by encouragement and steady leadership, program graduates say.

David Hill, who served as editor of the Daily Reporter from 2002 to 2014, has been selected by the organization’s board of directors as Ross’ successor. The position is part time and comes with a $2,000 stipend.

Hill’s extensive network of community connections and management experience will suit him well in his duties as coordinator of the Leadership Hancock County, said Hancock County Sheriff’s Capt. Robert Campbell, who also serves as president of the program’s board of directors.

Hill’s ambitions blend well with the board’s long-term vision for the program, which include increasing social media presence and networking opportunities for graduates, Campbell said.

The position’s responsibilities include managing the curriculum for each year’s class of students, which average between 15 and 20 participants; organizing monthly class retreats and managing finances. Leadership Hancock County has a $15,500 budget.

The opening posed an attractive opportunity for Hill, who was looking for avenues to stay involved in the community after retiring from a 34-year career in journalism, he said.

“Leadership Hancock County does a lot to raise the profile of the importance of emerging leaders in the community, both in their workplaces and in civic responsibilities,” said Hill, a Hancock County native who currently lives in New Palestine.

Ross, a 2002 graduate of the program, succeeded Marcia Parker, who started in 1995, serving as the organization’s first leader.

Ross managed the part-time duties with her position as executive administrative assistant for Greenfield-Central School Corp.

After 12 years as coordinator of the program, Ross decided to step down from the position to focus on her personal life but also to give someone else a chance to take the reins, she said.

Still, it’s a responsibility she’ll miss, she said.

“Seeing the reward that the people got from the classes, that was always really satisfying to see,” Ross said.

Organizers searching for graduates

Organizers are in the process of trying to connect with graduates from the 1995-1996 Leadership Hancock County class. Graduates or anyone with contact information for past members are encouraged to contact the organization by emailing info@leadhc.org.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.