The Faulkner County Leadership Institute’s current class visited the Log Cabin Democrat as part of media day on Thursday.

Shawanna Rodgers, chairman of FCLI, said, "We do a media session just to expose them to different aspects of media within Arkansas and Faulkner County, to let them see how it works. We have several key leaders in media as well. They do Good Morning Arkansas, Channel 7, AETN, Conway Corp and the Log Cabin. Several who work in the media have gone through the class as well."

Rodgers said the mission of FCLI is to identify, acquaint, develop, challenge and connect leaders within the community. Members go through a year of courses to learn about different areas of Faulkner County they may not be aware of.

"We do city government, state government, county government, health, education, nonprofits and public service. We connect then with different organizations. There are people who have lived in Faulkner County all their lives who never knew certain organizations existed," Rodgers said.

More than 500 people have graduated from FCLI classes, she said.

"Each year they do a class project where they choose a nonprofit organization or an organization they see as having a need, and they go in and do a project like renovating a house or building a playground. They work together as a class of leaders, raise the money, do the labor and give back to the organization."

Zach Ahrens, publisher of the Log Cabin Democrat, commented on the group’s visit to the newspaper.

"We talked about the rich legacy that print media has had within our local communities that we serve," he said. "We talked about some of the things we have done, some of our products and platforms and how we’re reaching a larger audience than ever before."

He also touched on things the newspaper has done to extend its reach, from embracing online and social media, to sponsoring events such as the Taste of Home Cooking School each year, he said.

Rodgers said, "We’re in the process of selection now for people in the class. We look for integrity, trust, good work ethics, communication, dedication, commitment and other qualities we believe good leaders should have."

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