Leadership Highland Regional Development Day

Brooke Beam, PhD

OSU Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

December 5, 2019


Leadership Highland met on December 4 to learn more about regional development, communication strategies, and local service. For the Regional Development day, Leadership Highland visited Samaritan Outreach Services and the Wilmington Air Park.

The day began with a communications workshop focused on video production and communication strategies for businesses. Participants learned about how videos are trending in global internet traffic and how to implement them into daily social media posts. Each participant learned how to set the cameras for an interview and the basic concepts of framing a scene.

Amatha Farrens, Blaine Williams, and Scott Lewis sort toy donations at Samaritan Outreach Services.

Leadership Highland learned first-hand about the duties of staff at the Samaritan Outreach Services by volunteering for part of the morning. The Leadership Highland class assisted patrons in selecting their groceries, helped sort toy donations for the Christmas toy drive, and helped package soap for senior boxes. Samaritan Outreach Services helps 900 families in Highland County have access to food, toiletries, coats, and toys for the holidays. Private donations are accepted. Toys are being collected for the annual toy drive, and they are low on items for teenagers at the moment. The date for the toys to be distributed to families is December 20.

The Leadership Highland class during the Regional Development Day with the gingerbread houses they constructed as a team building exercise.

Leadership Highland participants completed a teambuilding exercise by collaboratively constructing gingerbread houses. Mel McKenzie and Amatha Farrens won the competition for the best-decorated gingerbread house, followed by Amanda Hall and Courtney Gallimore with a gingerbread train and Bill Davis and Blaine Williams with an OSU v. Michigan themed gingerbread house. The completed gingerbread houses are on display in the OSU Extension Office in Hillsboro throughout the holiday season.

The final tour for the day was of the Wilmington Air Park. The tour included the maintenance facilities, a driving tour of the air park, and a visit to the control tower. The Amazon facility employs approximately 900 residents from a multi-county area. In total, there are 14 different employers located at the Wilmington Air Park who employ nearly 3,000 employees. Standing eleven stories tall, the control tower provides a unique perspective of the region. Structures in Xenia and Springboro are visible on clear days without the assistance of binoculars. Many Hillsboro features are not visible from the tower due to the rolling topography of Highland County.

Daniel Evers, Executive Director of the Wilmington Air Park, spoke to the Leadership Highland class about the Air Park.

The next meeting of Leadership Highland will be held at the end of January. For more information about Leadership Highland or other OSU Extension programs, contact OSU Extension, Highland County at 937-393-1918.