The Washington County Leadership Institute (WCLI) recently completed its 17th year. The Institute, a program of the Sunrise County Economic Council, provides Washington County citizens with the skills, insight and professional network to be more effective leaders.

Class members and organizers (pictured left to right) include Rebecca Hobbs of The Next Step Domestic Violence Project, Valerie Lawson of the Cobscook Community Learning Center (CCLC), Jennifer Peters of Sunrise County Economic Council (coordinator), Linda Godfrey (WCLI Facilitator), Chace Jackson of Northern Maine Development Commission, Joe Tuell of Machias Savings Bank, Brenda Moore-Mitchell of Passamaquoddy Tribal Government, Marcia Hayward of the Calais Police Department, Ken Daye of Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC), M. Irene Fitzgerald of Old Port Pension Administrators, Plansowes Dana of Passamaquoddy Tribal Government, Jesse Perez-Robicheaud of Axiom Technologies, Bunny Richards of the CCLC, and Ann Pottle of Bangor Savings Bank.

WCLI was founded in 1997 as a partnership between the University of Maine at Machias (UMM) and SCEC and has graduated 262 alumni since its inception. The Institute helps Washington County residents develop the skills to become effective and involved members of their communities. Participants come from all walks of life including small-businesspeople, finance, education, tourism, healthcare, nonprofit and municipal government. WCLI graduates have gone on to serve on select-, planning and school boards, filled volunteer positions, and served in the legislature.

WCLI organizers would like to thank sponsors for helping make the 2013 class a success. This year’s sponsors include Bayside/4 Corners Shop ‘n’ Save, the Boston Foundation, the Eaton Foundation, First Wind, Machias Savings Bank, Northern Maine Development Commission, RHR Smith & Co., SCEC, UMM, and the Washington County Council of Governments.

For more information, or to find out how you can participate in WCLI 2014, please visit, find us on Facebook at “Friends of the Washington County Leadership Institute”, or contact Jen Peters at 207-255-0983 or by email at

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