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Porterville Chamber of Commerce

Porterville Chamber of Commerce

Baise Vanderhorst, right, is congratulated by Monte Reyes after getting pinned Wednesday during the Leadership Porterville graduation at Nuckols Ranch. Nine people graduated this year from the Porterville Chamber of Commerce program designed to shape future leaders for the community. Past graduates are a virtual Who’s Who of the community, many holding leadership roles from their churches to city council and in the public schools.

Earning their diplomas during a ceremony at Nuckols Ranch were Blaise Vanderhorst with the Robert E. Vanderhorst law office; Adonas Nuckols with Nuckols Ranch; Titus Moore with the Bank of the Sierra; Kyle Ladrigan with Porterville Unified School District; James King with Porterville Developmental Center, Rose Gurule with the City of Porterville’s Police Department; Jesus Fernandez with Fernandez Insurance; Scott Braden with Porterville Unified School District and Daniel Blazar with Sierra View Medical Center.

“This journey of leadership will help them in all their endeavors,” commented Monte Reyes, a Leadership Class of 2010 alumni and now a member of the Porterville City Council. He noted the goal of the program, which stretches over eight months and includes insights into many different aspects of the community, including schools, ag, city government and county government, is to develop new leaders.

“The Class of 2016 had the commitment, enthusiasm and stamina to go above and beyond,” he said. Vanderhorst, who just recently joined his father’s law office, said the program was outstanding.

“It showed me the importance of teamwork, communication and to have a better understand of what it is being a leader,” he said following the ceremony. He said it also taught him the importance of working with others and that leadership is “inspiring others.” Chamber Board President Rob Taylor, an alumni of the first Leadership class in 1991, said the new graduates join more than 250 previous graduates.

“Knowing that I went through Leadership Porterville, for me, over the years, it’s been a real benefit. There’s a kinship there,” he told the graduates.

Dr. Sharon Kamberg, superintendent of the Burton Elementary School District and a 1992 alumnus of Leadership Porterville, gave the class words of encouragement and support.