Leadership Clayton graduated its 40th class of movers and shakers Wednesday night at a ceremony at Clayton State University.
Former Georgia chief justice Leah Ward Sears gave the keynote speech, in which she advised the new grads with “rules of the road,” parallels inspired by Sears’ first judicial post as an Atlanta traffic-court judge.
Recalling, for example, an auto accident she narrowly avoided after she realized she was in the wrong lane, Sears told the audience that “you should always seek as a leader to find yourself a lane, a groove, a posture, a stance, a style of life that is not the worst, but what is best in you.”
The class of 15 — selected from applicants who either live or work in Clayton County — received the honor for working through a nine-month program to sharpen their management skills. Leadership Clayton has been sponsored by the Clayton Chamber of Commerce since 1972.
Graduating were: Charles Brooks, Clayton County District Attorney’s Office; Mechelle Brown, Office of Ceasar C. Mitchell; Toni Dixon, Opulentia, Inc.; Yvette Dupree, University of Georgia; Douglas Hendrix, Clayton County Public Schools; Sherwin James, Clayton State University College of Business; Deborah Johnson-Blake, Atlanta Technical College; Karl Kelley, City of Riverdale; Laura Key, Clark Atlanta University; Zainab Love, DeKalb County Department of Family & Children Services; Stefanie Phillips, Clayton County Public Schools; Etorsha Reese, P.E.T.A.L.S. Inc.; Pat Sebo, City of Jonesboro; Constance Stroud, Georgia Power; and Joy Tellis Cooper, Turner Broadcasting.
Scholarships were also awarded to Brown, Dixon, Dupree, Kelley, Stroud and Cooper.