Today’s Action Tomorrow’s Leaders
Waco is experiencing an extraordinary period of growth, development and optimism; the results are being seen across the community in many sectors. This growth is made possible because of the great leadership exhibited by those holding public office, executing public and private policies, managing local businesses, and working and volunteering in the civic and nonprofit sectors.
Today’s Action Tomorrow’s Leaders (TATL) is a steering committee established through the Community Visioning Project for the purpose of “equipping leaders,” implemented the program in the greater Waco area in 2011 and offers it to individuals who are selected to participate at no cost through underwriting provided by Waco Foundation.
TATL encompasses many community representatives, is actively working to provide, promote and enhance leadership development learning and engagement opportunities for area residents. So whether you’re new to Waco, have been living here long enough to call the place home or are a lifelong resident, if you have a passion for service, we’re here to help you get plugged in.
In 2004, Waco Mayor Dr. Mae Jackson convened a group of leaders from throughout the area to develop a new vision for the community. That effort was called the Community Visioning Project. The program’s attendees, who reflected the diversity of the community, shared their ideas for how to improve our community. As a result of that dialogue, the following priorities were developed:
1.) Strengthen the Heart of the Community
2.) Increase Economic Opportunities
3.) Engage Leaders
4.) Enhance Life outside the Workplace
5.) Identify Our Distinct Advantage
The Community Visioning Project remains active today, working to promote dialogue and facilitate efforts centered on those 5 priorities.
More specifically, with regard to leadership engagement, Community Visioning Project participants set the following goals:
1.) Identify, recruit, develop, and engage leaders of all ages and from all parts of the area
2.) Develop a proactive attitude and encourage multiple vehicles for civic engagement
3.) Leverage current leaders’ ability to inspire future leaders
With no single, logical champion available to lead the effort, a coalition of community leaders from various sectors were convened. That initial grouping has transitioned over time into the leadership body that serves today.
An outgrowth of the Community Visioning Project, Today’s Action Tomorrow’s Leaders (TATL) is a Steering Committee whose mission is to champion the issue of leadership development, preparation and service, to the larger community.
Provide the planning and programming needed to ensure that Waco has a diverse pool of individuals trained and capable of providing community leadership in the future.
1.) Facilitate the creation of a pipeline/pathway for civic leadership and engagement so that individuals interested in public and nonprofit sector volunteer engagement are aware of how they can become involved and receive the support and training necessary for doing so.
2.) Offer leadership programs that are appropriately designed to facilitate true civic leadership skills development and growth.
3.) Encourage widespread community participation and engagement to foster diversity amongst the trainers/facilitators and participant communities.
4.) Engage program graduates in leadership activities in the community by promoting and facilitating the placement of participants to taskforces, boards, commissions or similar venues.
Committed to ensuring that the Waco community offers individuals interested in civic leadership clear opportunities for engagement and learning, the TATL Steering
Committee meets regularly for the purpose of implementing the various steps of our multifaceted vision and plan. Today our efforts are centered on:
- Identifying potential candidates for engagement.
- Creating opportunities for program graduates to network, connect and build relationship with established area leaders.
- Facilitating community engagement opportunities for program participants and graduates.
- Identifying the next round of leadership programs, services and resources for sharing with the community.
- Addressing the leadership development needs identified by community members through surveys, focus group meetings and similar solicitations.
Steering Committee participants are all active leaders in our community who serve in a voluntary capacity because of their deep commitment to promoting and facilitating civic leadership and engagement. In an effort to ensure the successful implementation of this initiative in its early stages, Waco Foundation provides staffing and funds to facilitate the activities and programs of the Steering Committee.
Kasey AshenfelterDirector of Leadership Development and Engagement firstname.lastname@example.org