WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Calling all leaders: the Williams community is seeking people with a vision for the city's future to participate in the first Williams Leadership Summit.
The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 9 at the Williams Recreation Center, 300 W. Railroad Ave.
Organizers have invited elected officials, city officials, educators and students, civic group officers, veterans, law enforcement officers and first responders and religious leaders to participate in the summit.
"All of these players have a big part of the shape and the future of how our community develops," said Williams Magistrate and event organizer Rob Krombeen.
A steering committee has met over the past few months to organize the leadership summit. Along with Krombeen, members include Williams Unified School District (WUSD) Superintendent Rachel Savage, Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce board member Jim Winbourn, WUSD Business Manager Melissa Ellico, APS Manager Joe Carter, Xanterra employee and Shepherd's Ambassadors coordinator Dennis Smith, Pine Country Restaurant owner Dee Seehorn, active volunteer Rodger Ely, Williams-Grand Canyon News Publisher Doug Wells, and Chamber President Gioia Goodrum.
"When we sat down five months ago at our first meeting or so and identified what are the needs in our community, what are the issues, whatever they may be, whether it's infrastructure, whether it's water, we saw that most of that wasn't a lack of resources, it wasn't a lack of ability, it was a lack of leadership, a lack of planning, a lack of focus," Krombeen said.
APS completed the Focused Future II plan in 2010 to address economic diversification and community development. That plan is up for review in 2015. Krombeen hopes the leadership summit will be the starting point for a comprehensive plan that addresses some of the challenges outlined in the Focused Future II plan.
"This isn't just an event and then we all go away energized and then forget about it in a month, we want to really develop some strategy here to solve some issues in our community through leadership," he said. "But a big part of that is to have a plan."
Dr. Randy Wallace will facilitate the summit. Krombeen said Wallace, who has a doctorate in organizational leadership, has helped several communities develop plans for the future.
"He gave an illustration of a community in the central San Joaquin Valley California that was economically quite dead as a result of the great recession, but one thing they realized that they had in their community was a lot of sunshine," Krombeen said. "And they developed a plan for bringing in solar industry and the town is booming in the midst of a bust all around them."
Wallace has reviewed Williams' General Plan as well as the Focused Future II plan to get an idea of what the community's goals are.
"He's going to come here with a mindset of based on his broad experience how we can take the assets and the things that we have in our community and turn them towards planning for the future," Krombeen said.
Any leaders or those interested in becoming leaders are invited to attend the summit. Those interested should RSVP to Pimi Bennett at the Chamber at (928) 635-0273, ext. 203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.