Leadership Goshen Alum, Gaby, Building Success
Going through the Leadership Goshen program was such a great experience on its own, but more than that it has helped me in my life, in real-time. When I started at Nuway Construction I was a carpenter, but my goal was to transition inside the office and get some management experience within the next few years.
I wanted to do more.
One day an email went around work saying they would sponsor employees applying for this leadership program through the Goshen Chamber of Commerce. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I thought it could be productive.
And it was incredibly productive, and really important for me.
The time I spent in the program is absolutely what helped me work my way into the office and into a project management role with Nuway. There’s no doubt about that. And it’s been a really rewarding adjustment. We’ve been busy. People are wanting to start doing buildings again—the company is expanding into Fort Wayne and into Southwest Michigan. It’s exciting, and I’m so glad to be a part of it and I’m learning more each day.
Leadership Goshen is just a really intense and effective program. There’s such a sharp focus on personal and professional development and every course breaks things down, in-depth, on so many levels. The opportunity to seminar and meet with local community and business leaders and spend so much time learning from them, and to better understand the important aspects of different industries—that was all just invaluable for me. And learning about emotional intelligence has helped me to really think about myself, and my perspective, and how to improve as a leader.
The other thing that’s unique, and pretty rare, about the program, for me, was just the opportunity to be in an environment where everyone is all-in, together, and only there to learn and grow.
I’m a Goshen High School graduate. I attended Hesston College and then I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Goshen College in 2021. High school and college were tremendous learning experiences for me, but let’s face it—in high school and college it’s a different environment; there will always be kids waking up ten minutes before class, trying to be silly and joke around, or just sort of getting by with their studies.
In the Leadership Goshen program everyone who’s in the program is there because they want to be there; because they want to learn how to grow and improve themselves and be better leaders at the workplace and in the community. And when you’re surrounded by a great group of people who want to achieve, it just really pushes everyone forward together.
And that’s truly the case—we all really got to know each other and build relationships, and those are connections that carry over. The Leadership Goshen program also led to the forming of an organization called GEL, which stands for Goshen’s Emerging Leaders. GEL is a subsidiary of the chamber, and is made up of young professionals dedicated to making Goshen the best it can be.
I have a family now, and my long-term goal is to someday own and run my own business. So, I’m always looking for other courses I can find to continue my professional development. I’ve actually been thinking pretty hard about going through the Leadership Goshen program a second time. It just gave me so many meaningful experiences and lessons, and really beneficial connections.
I’m thankful to Nick (Kieffer) and board of the the Goshen Chamber of Commerce for providing programs like Leadership Goshen and for being so dedicated to the next generation of leaders. I know it’s meant a lot to me, and my family. And my future.
Leadership Goshen is a program of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce which aims to identify, cultivate, and motivate future community leaders. For more information please visit https://goshen.org/leadership-goshen/.
Written by Jake Sandock
Original publish date August 2023
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