ACU students complete Leadership Summit in the mountains

For Immediate Release
Jan. 30, 2001

For more information contact:

Tom Craig, Director of Media and Community Relations

Luke Hejl, media relations specialist
(915) 674-2696

More than 70 students participated in Abilene Christian University's third annual Leadership Summit early in January.

This one week short course and retreat led by ACU's College of Business Administration, took place in Colorado Springs, Colo., the week before the spring semester started.

"It was great to get away from Abilene and go to the mountains for a week," said Sara Willis, senior digital media major from Emory. "We had a lot of fun and it was a wonderful learning experience."

The class began on Sunday, Jan. 7, and continued through Friday, Jan. 12. The instructors and presenters said they wanted to give students an overview of what the "real world" or "marketplace" might be like and illustrate some of the struggles they might face as Christians in the marketplace.

"I feel more prepared to jump into the corporate world as a Christian now; knowing that God can use me wherever I am to minister to others by my actions," said Phillip Houston, junior marketing/management major from Kerrville.

Faculty sponsors for the class included Michael Winegeart, assistant professor of marketing and international business; Dr. Rick Lytle, dean of the College of Business Administration; and Tim Johnston, director of admissions and enrollment management.

Winegeart said, "The Leadership Summit distills life experiences and skills from veteran executives into practical advice for students just starting out on the journey."

Several guest speakers made presentations throughout the week. Kenny and Sharon Wilson, both ACU alumni, were among those speakers. He is president of Bank of America in San Antonio, and she is the children's minister at the Oak Hills Church of Christ in San Antonio.

The Wilsons discussed leadership in the church and in the workplace and how to incorporate family in that leadership. Kenny and Sharon discussed qualities that the students could use as leaders, how to connect those qualities with faith and how to enhance their contributions as leaders.

Mark Kirk, president of Scott Technologies based in Cleveland, Ohio, talked about three types of power: positional, character and knowledge and how to use those types of power.

Kirk said, "A good leader is intelligent as well as having great people skills." He showed the students a clip from the movie Patch Adams to make this point.

Bill Lytle, brother of Dr. Rick Lytle, was among the special guest speakers of the week. He is the president of LJL International, a consulting firm based in Rochester, Mich. Lytle talked about adjusting to changes in the workplace as well as our daily lives.

Encouraging them to follow their dreams, he asked the students, "What would you do if you were not afraid?"

Lytle told the students, "I worked a job for 21 years before I realized that I was unhappy."

Gary and Millie Skidmore also participated in the Leadership Summit. He is the president of Harte-Hanks CRM, and he emphasized "doing the right thing," and how difficult that can be at times.

Skidmore told the students, "It is hard to do the right thing in business, but if you choose to do the right thing, good things will happen."

Following an old business rule of thumb, location was a key to success for the Leadership Summit. Students said the location enhanced the learning and overall value of the class.

Jay Ochesky, junior management major from Denver City, said, "Being in the mountains magnified the experience. I can't express how eye opening each speaker was at the sessions."

ACU's College of Business Administration has conducted the Leadership Summit for three years. Students receive credit for participation.


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Last update: Jan. 30, 2001
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