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Posted 9/13/2017

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2017 Leadership Development class graduates

By John Barker, Mobile District, public affairs specialist

Twenty Mobile District employees and one representative from the Fish and Wildlife Service graduated from the district’s 2017 Leadership Development Program, or LDP, Sept. 7.

"This is a dynamic professional development opportunity and I'm so happy to see that so many of the Mobile District employees are taking advantage of it," said Mobile District Commander, Col. James DeLapp.

In order to graduate from LDP, students must meet a number of required standards. Each student is required to attend every session and simultaneously participate in a Toastmasters program. The students complete three correspondence courses and are required to finish a minimum of one outside study effort per month. Study efforts include reading books, watching videos and/or listening to audio tapes. These studies are done on the student’s personal time.

“The Leadership Development Program was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about our roles in the district, work with team members in other divisions, and develop stronger leadership skills,” said Amy Cobb-Williams, LDP student and program manager for the district’s Natural Resources Division. “The program was challenging and provided an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.”

Students are also required to shadow the district commander or any of the district’s military staff for a day. Attendance at one Planning Review Board meeting and one Program Budget Advisory Committee meeting is also required.

In addition to the other requirements, the district commander decides on a class project for all of the students to complete. 

“For our class project, the LDP class was tasked with developing a scope of work for a mobile application to provide a sleek, instant delivery of information and tools to both the public and the internal Mobile District team,” said Cobb-Williams. “The class coordinated with other districts and headquarters personnel and integrated our ideas into a scope of work that aims to produce a product that will utilize existing datasets to provide a dynamic mobile platform.”

The program, which began in the Mobile District in 1998, explains and demonstrates leadership skills and competencies required at the managerial level, according to the development handbook. The learning schedule emphasizes material that these individuals can use in leading their organizations to increasing levels of excellence. LDP is a dynamic program designed to assist leaders in looking beyond daily activities to assessing and interpreting, in an ever-enlarging way, the external environment; the organization; the leadership process; the need for subordinate development at all levels; and the need for continuing self-development. The goal is to develop competent, confident leaders who can exploit the full potential of present and future doctrine.

This year’s graduates are: John Bass, geotechnical engineer; Joseph Black, civil engineer; James Cherry, project manager; Amy Cobb-Williams, recreation facilities program manager; Michael Creswell, assistant district council; Lorilum Darbyshire, budget analyst; Kizzy Ferguson, budget analyst; Bradley Grantham, electrical engineer; Peyton Gunn, electrical engineer; Hattie Henry, contract specialist; Dianne Ingram, biologist from the Fish and Wildlife Service; Thomas Jester, plan formulator; Michael Keating, civil engineer; Ashley Kleinschrodt, civil engineer; Gregory Lane, senior mechanic; Sara Logsdon, contract specialist; Adriel McConnell, project manager; Nakita Milsap, accountant; Patrick O’Connor, supervisory environmental engineer; Allen Wilson, archeologist; and Roger Wilson, Jr., civil engineer.

"We want to continue to grow the next generation of leaders so that we can maintain Mobile District's high standards of professionalism and service to our stakeholders,” said DeLapp. “This LDP program is one of our best grassroots efforts to do that. It is great to be able to have interagency partners like the US Fish and Wildlife Service participate in this program. This fosters better Federal cooperation and streamlines our efforts. It is great to be able to have interagency partners like the US Fish and Wildlife Service participate in this program. This fosters better Federal cooperation and streamlining of our efforts." 

To be eligible for LDP, candidates must have career-status appointments. Students must also have a minimum of two years of service with the U.S. Corps of Engineers.