Leadership Southern NH


Photo by Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce

This winter, the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce started a new program, Leadership Southern New Hampshire, modeled after their Leadership Greater Salem, which stopped 15 years ago. I was fortunate to be one of the first 16 participants in the new Leadership program. Our group met once a month, for six sessions from February through June. Our sessions ran from 8:30 until 3:30 (although a few sessions ran closer to 4:30!), totaling about 40 hours of instruction. These were six jam-packed days! Those who know me will not be surprised that I had perfect attendance!

We were served a continental breakfast and lunch at each session, and usually had speakers while we ate lunch. These speakers are leaders in our community, many of whom who had been through a similar Leadership program years ago. They taught us how they think as leaders, and what worked for them as they developed their leadership skills.

I am very grateful to the Chamber for offering this program, and especially to Donna Morris, who made this her pride-and-joy project. I learned things about our community that I never knew, and met people that I might not have ever met.

And I learned things about myself, through the personality test we took before we began the program: https://www.16personalities.com. My results: Personality type: “The Mediator” (INFP-T). Role: Diplomat. I was thrilled to learn that a suitable career for the Mediator personality is … politician!

We often had to introduce ourselves to our speakers. I would introduce myself as part of the Salem NH Farmers Market, and as a candidate for State Rep. My apologies to Donna, who had to keep saying, “The Chamber does not endorse candidates!” So, I’ll say it here for her: “The Chamber does not endorse candidates!” But they do support and help develop leaders to serve in all industries, including non-profits. And those skills can be transferred to all aspects of our lives, including serving in politics.

I’m glad I took this program, and not just because I was awarded this cool plaque this week, made by Salem’s Sonny Tylus, although it is impressive. The plaque reads, “The Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize BONNIE WRIGHT as a 2018 Graduate. The successful completion of Leadership Southern NH demonstrates an understanding of the facets that comprise our community and a commitment to area leadership.”

This program was good for me. I know I will be a better leader in our community, especially at the Farmers Market, but also as one of Salem’s State Reps!

Want to know what we did in the program? Keep reading!


Morning Session: Orientation
Tour: Salem Depot Train Station
Donna Morris, President, Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce
Activity: Personality Tests

Lunchtime Talk:
Leadership Practices by Scott Cote, President & CEO, Pentucket Bank

Afternoon Session: History
Tours: Salem’s Old Town Hall (Salem NH Historical Society Museum) & Town Fire Station 2
     • Doug Seed, Salem Author & Historian
     • Beverly Glynn, Salem Museum Committee & Salem Historic District Commission


Morning Session: Economic Development
Joe Faro, Tuscan Brands
David Chilinski, President, Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, Architecture Planning Interiors (Tuscan Village)
Andre Garron, Community Development Director-Assistant Town Manager, Town of Salem
Wendy Johnson, NHDOT, I-93 Project Manager

Lunchtime Talk:
Leadership Practices by Ann Lally, President, Salem Co-operative Bank

Afternoon Session: Government & Politics
Tour: NH State House
Virginia J. Drew, Director, State House Visitor Center
• Senator Chuck Morse
• Governor Chris Sununu
Jim Roche, President, Business & Industry Association

Morning Session: Education
Tour: Salem High School
Scheduled Speakers:
Maura Sullivan Palmer, Assistant Superintendent for Academics & Support, SAU 57 (K-12 Comprehensive Overview)
Chris Dodge, Director, Salem High School Career & Technical Education Center Salem CTE
Fred Bramante, President, The National Center for Competency-Based Learning
Ross Gittell, Chancellor of the Community College System of NH
Raymond McNaulty, Dean, School of Education, SNHU

Lunchtime Talk:
Leadership Practices by Peter Rayno, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Bank

Afternoon Session: NonProfits
Tour: Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem
Marco Abreu, Chief Paid Professional, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem
Kathleen Reardon, CEO, NH Center for Nonprofits
Patrick Tufts, President & CEO, Granite United Way
Connie Young, Program Director, Rockingham County ServiceLink


Morning Session: Health Services
Tour: Parkland Medical Center
Jeff Scionti, President/CEO, Parkland Medical Center
Vic Topo, President/CEO, Center for Life Management

Afternoon Session: Fire, Police & Courts
Tour: Salem Fire Department
Larry Best, Assistant Fire Chief, Salem Fire Department
Jeffery Emanuelson, Fire Marshal/Deputy Chief, Salem Fire Department
Brian Allard, Director of EMS, Salem Fire Department
Rob Morin, Deputy Chief, Salem Police Department
Jason Grosky, Prosecuting Attorney, Salem Police Department

JUNE Session #1 (A day in Manchester)
Morning Session: Communications & Media
Tours: Manchester Millyard Museum & WZID
John Clayton, Executive Director of the Manchester Historic Association (Millyard Museum), Author, and Newspaper Columnist
Mike Cherry, WMUR News Anchor & Reporter
Mike Morin, Broadcaster, Speaker, and Author

Lunchtime Talk:
Leadership Practices by Peter Ramsey, President and CEO, Palace Theatre Trust

Afternoon Session: Arts & Culture
Tours: Palace Theatre & Currier Museum of Art
Speakers and guides:
Peter Ramsey, President and CEO, Palace Theatre Trust
Alan Chong, Director & CEO, Currier Museum
Karina Mitchell, Manager of Adult Tours and Programs, Currier Museum
• Unidentified Curator, Currier Museum

JUNE Session #2

Afternoon Session: Tourism
Tour: Canobie Lake Park (behind the scenes)
Chris Nicoli, Marketing & Brand Manager, Canobie Lake Park

Evening Session: Graduation
Activity: Dinner, Networking & Graduation! Then, enjoy the Park!
Donna Morris, President, Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce