By Justin Boron
Leadership is finding one's passion, no matter what it is, and using it as an opportunity to achieve, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin told the 2005 graduating Leadership Clayton Class Wednesday night.
"It can be Alzheimer's. It can be physical fitness. It can breast cancer. It can be homelessness. It can be something mundane like water and sewer," she said, referencing her administration's overhaul of the Atlanta sewer system.
"It is the best example I have of people appearing not to have a common interest, who come together to have a common interest."
Franklin was the keynote speaker for 19 community members who completed a 10-month course that required intensive networking throughout the metro Atlanta region.
Among other things, class members took tours of jails, greased palms with local politicians, and met with Georgia legislators, said Michael Edmondson, a Leadership Clayton board member.
"We try to make it as rigorous as possible and put them right up on the edge," he said.
The 2005 class also completed two community service projects, developing the Clayton Youth Leadership Council and Imagine Clayton, which was tasked with improving the county's image, Edmondson said.
During her speech, Franklin sought to exemplify good leadership by highlighting a program that she said registered 1,400 Atlanta students in a program intended to get them enrolled in college.
She also advocated continued regional cooperation between jurisdictions of greater Atlanta.
The following were 2005 Leadership Clayton graduates: Bob Barnette of Market Grocery Company, Laura Chapman of the Chamber of Commerce, Benny Collier of the Christian Ministries Hospice, Christy Collier of the Clayton News Daily, Winston Cooper of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Anne Marie Corrow of Fulton & Kozak, CPA, Pamela Everett of Hancock & Palmer, LLC, Riverdale City Manager Iris Jessie, Kalanos Johnson of Wilbur Smith Associates, Kemuel Kimbrough of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, Janet Kortrey of Southern Regional Medical Center, Emmanuella Lamothe of DFACS and Collaborative Authority, Victoria Lowe of WORKTEC, Rebecca Miller of Miller Mediators, Wanda Robins of Georgia Power, Chief Magistrate Judge Daphne Walker, Jonesboro City Manager Jon Walker, Gwendolyn Williams of Clayton County Extension, and Josh Wilson of Loggins & Associates, PC.