Allison McDermott, The Union Democrat

The Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for its 2012 Leadership Tuolumne County Class.

"The class is open to anyone interested in learning more about the community, particularly those that aspire to take on leadership roles within it," said George Segarini, president and CEO of the Tuolumne County Chamber.

The program begins with a one-day retreat, where participants take part in group-building activities and get to know each other. From there, the class will meet all day on the first Thursday of the month, between October and May, to learn more about the issues facing Tuolumne County.

Topics covered will include government, law and justice, business,

education, health, arts and culture, media and land use. Participants

learn by taking field trips to various government and nonprofit

agencies, plus private businesses.

"Depending on the issue of the day, we will go to the facility that

best educates and facilities that subject," Segarini said. "That could

be an elementary school for education or the sheriff and probation

departments for law and justice."

Participants will also complete a community service project and receive a certificate of completion.

Applications are available at the chamber office, 222 S. Shepard

St., Sonora or at They can be dropped off at the

office Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Applications must be received by Aug. 12.

The class is limited to about 15 to 20 people, so those interested in participating should apply early.

Applications will be reviewed by the program's executive board to

determine those who are most likely to benefit from it and invest their

experience and knowledge back into the community. The board will

interviewed select applicants before the final class is chosen.

"The interview is to make sure we know what they are expecting and

to let them understand what the commitment is," Segarini said.

The class costs $750, which covers the retreat, eight monthly

classes, community service project and certificate. Scholarships are


Since the first Leadership Tuolumne County class was held in 1992, more than 200 community members have completed it.

"I learned a great deal about a wide range of efforts going on in

the community and I would heartily recommend the program to anyone who

is planning to be a community leader," said Peter Rei, long-time county

Public Works Department director, in a press release.

For more information, call 532-4212 or go to

Contact Allison McDermott at or 588-4525.