090419_PNN_Institute

A total of 27 new Georgia General Assembly members took part in the 2019 Georgia Legislative Leadership Institute in Athens, including, from left, front row, state Reps. Angelika Kausche (District 50), Beth Moore (District 95), Mike Wilensky (District 79) and Matthew Wilson (District 80), state Sen. Randy Robertson (District 29), Rep. Kim Schofield (District 60) and Sen. Sally Harrell (District 40); second row, Reps. James Burchett (District 176), Dale Washburn (District 141), Becky Evans (District 83), Shelly Hutchinson (District 107), Bonnie Rich (District 97), Ginny Ehrhart (District 36), Erick Allen (District 40) and El-Mahdi Holly (District 111); third row, Reps. Chris Erwin (District 28), Matthew Gambill (District 15), Houston Gaines (District 117) and Marcus Wiedower (District 119), Sen. Sheikh Rahman (District 5) and Rep. Betsy Holland (District 54); fourth row, Reps. Martin Momtahan (District 17), Josh McLaurin (District 51), Ken Pullin (District 131), Joseph Gullett (District 19), Steven Sainz (District 180), and Mitchell Scoggins (District 14).

State lawmakers from Bartow and Paulding counties recently joined other freshmen lawmakers from across the state in Athens for an event designed to help them sharpen their leadership skills.

District 19 State Rep. Joseph Gullett, R-Dallas, joined District 17 State Rep. Martin Momtahan, R-Dallas; District 15 State Rep. Matthew Gambill, R-Cartersville; District 14 State Rep. Mitchell Scoggins, R-Cartersville, and 23 other freshmen lawmakers from across the state for the program in August, a news release stated.

The group included the most recently elected members of the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate.

The multi-day program at the UGA Center for Continuing Education and Hotel was designed to strengthen the leadership skills of individual legislators while also reinforcing the legislative institution.

They attended sessions on topics such as public values and policy development, leadership challenges, building trust, the American republic, and addressing fairness, a news release stated.

It allowed lawmakers to explore the leadership challenges of representative government with legislative leaders and colleagues, as well as faculty from UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, the release stated.

The program, supported by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, also was set up to help legislators address key elements of personal, ethical and political leadership as they carry out their roles and responsibilities as elected representatives, the release stated.

“The Georgia Legislative Leadership Institute allows new legislators to explore their own leadership styles, better understand those of their colleagues, network with colleagues and gain expertise and skills to better serve their constituents,” said Laura Meadows, director of the Institute of Government.

This year, the new lawmakers heard from Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and House Speaker David Ralston and took part in a discussion panel with veteran legislative members such as Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Steve Henson; House Minority Leader Rep. Bob Trammell; Rep. Mandi Ballinger, chairman of the Juvenile Justice Committee; and Sen. Dean Burke, chairman of the Health Appropriations Subcommittee for Community Health.

The Leadership Institute is an extension of the Biennial Institute for Georgia Legislators and forms the core of a phased leadership development program for members of the Georgia General Assembly, the news release stated.

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government is a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit that provides customized assistance, applied research and professional development for government leaders and employees across Georgia and internationally.

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