Tompkins Cortland Community College

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Peter Voorhees

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News Release

Leadership Tompkins Graduates Class; Opens Recruitment for 2012-13

July 5, 2012

Twenty-four people have graduated from Leadership Tompkins, the community development program sponsored by Tompkins Cortland Community College and the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce. Leadership Tompkins, which just finished its twenty-fifth year, is part of a national program designed to stimulate commitments to the local community.

During the ten months of the program, participants are involved in seminars with local leaders from various sectors, including business, government, and education. The participants also develop and work on projects that are intended to improve their understanding of the community and the issues it faces.

Leadership Tompkins 2012 graduates and employers:

  • Christy Agnese, Ithaca College
  • Janice Arcangeli, Catholic Charities Tompkins/Tioga
  • Donald Austin, Ithaca College
  • Mary Beth Bunge, Alternatives Federal Credit Union/Alternatives Community Ventures
  • Shane Cameron, Tompkins Trust Company
  • Clarissa Coombs, Chemung Canal Trust Company
  • Kelsey El Fassy Fihry, The Shops at Ithaca Mall
  • Wendy Franzese, Cornell University
  • Amie Hendrix, Tompkins County
  • Erik Herman, Cornell University
  • Judy Hoffman, Ithaca City School District
  • Jessica Jones, Franziska Racker Centers
  • Muthoni Judy Kamau, Cornell University (Graduate student)
  • Shashank Kolhatkar, BorgWarner Morse TEC
  • Sean Kuplan, BorgWarner Morse TEC
  • Zachary Nelson, Greater Ithaca Activities Center
  • Karen Nocera, The CBORD Group, Inc.
  • Sage Peake, Cayuga Medical Center
  • Rebecca Roberts, CFCU Community Credit Union
  • Scott Rogeau, The Pak 'n Ship Store
  • Sharon Sanford, Tompkins Cortland Community College
  • Jenna Stroud, Greater Ithaca Activities Center
  • Shannon Terry, Tompkins Trust Company
  • Jessica Troy-Smith, Elmira Savings Bank

Each of the graduates worked on one of five community action projects. One group worked on "Financial Security: Rural Families and Individuals," an effort to develop a comprehensive communications strategy to effectively raise awareness fir the community programs and services offered through Alternative Community Ventures, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to relieve poverty and create economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income people . The hope of this project is to put the tools for financial security into the hands of individuals who could benefit from these services.

Other projects included searching for ways to keep Leadership Tompkins alumni connected, working with Friends of Stewart Park to energize the community to invest in the park, exploring the possibility of a youth entrepreneurs academy with the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, and helping the growth of Tompkins Connect, a young professionals group committed to engaging young professionals in the community.

Applications are now being accepted for participation in Leadership Tompkins for the 2012-13 year, which starts in September. More information and applications are available by calling 272.3025 or by visiting