Greetings from the Leadership Louisville opening retreat

Thomas Elliott

Thomas Elliott (LL ’17), area director of operations, Kindred Healthcare

Hello world! On Thursday August 18th the Leadership Louisville class of 2017 gathered at Griffon Gate Marriott resort in Lexington for our introduction retreat. Within a few short minutes of joining together this group of leaders, we were harmonically repeating each other’s names and creating lasting mnemonics. To the surprise of everyone, one classmate, Drew Chambers, would set the standard by correctly naming every single person in the class #Unbelievable.

After witnessing Cheers magic, the day progressed with us defining philanthropy, giving practical parameters to the concept of leadership, and outlining conversation boundaries. Our first day was filled with dynamic collaboration, strategizing with marshmallows, meeting former graduates, and most importantly, learning about each other. Thursday evening was capped with a delicious dinner, dessert, and some liquid freedoms compliments of Brown Forman. Couldn’t ask for anything more from a first day; our class was fed, happy and engaged.

Then came Friday, SIMSOC, and the destruction of all those great things that were achieved on Thursday. Within hours of starting the day optimistically and sharing pleasantries over breakfast, our color coded differences would lead to turmoil and proposed coups. The group would rebound; people would work together to share resources they didn’t have, teams would donate lavish treats with washed utensils, jobs were shared and ultimately all were loved. Not really, but we tried. During the process, we took away some valuable lessons about our own blessings and how to better relate to our community.

The opening retreat was a great success – it served as an important conduit for joining folks who would otherwise never meet. The diversity of talents within the class is outstanding and will help this group to be active and invested partners in our shared mission to advance Louisville.