LEXINGTON, Ky. — Arkansas Judge Rhonda Wood, recently elected to the Arkansas Supreme Court, is one of 48 state leaders from across the country selected as a Council of State Governments’ Henry Toll Fellow for the Class of 2014.
The Class of 2014 Toll Fellows represents 35 states and Puerto Rico, with 35 serving in the legislative branch, four serving in the judiciary and nine hailing from the executive. A nine-member committee of state leaders, many who are Toll Fellows themselves, reviewed a record number of applications to select the class.
"The Henry Toll Fellowship has a distinguished history of cultivating some of the nation’s top leaders and forging lasting relationships among a special few who serve without fear or favor," said Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, the 2014 CSG national chair and a 2002 CSG Toll Fellow. "This year’s class is drawn from a very deep talent pool, and each of those selected will contribute significantly."
The Toll Fellowship Program, named for CSG founder Henry Wolcott Toll, is one of the nation’s premier leadership development programs for state government officials. Each year, the program brings 48 of the nation’s top officials from all three branches of state government to Lexington, Ky., for an intensive six-day, five-night "intellectual boot camp."
Wood hopes to expand her knowledge base and bring back useful tools to improve government in Arkansas.
"It is a duty to continue to find ways to better serve the citizens who have placed their trust and faith in us as elected officials," she said.
The program’s agenda includes a lineup of dynamic speakers and sessions designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth, while providing priceless networking and relationship-building opportunities. While each year’s program is unique, previous programs have included sessions on leadership personality assessment, media training, crisis management, appreciative inquiry, adaptive leadership and much more.
"The Toll Fellowship remains the oldest and most prestigious of all leadership development programs for elected officials," said David Adkins, CSG’s executive director/CEO. "Its impact is profound and its quality is renowned. As a Toll Fellow from 1993, I know first hand the impact the program has on elected officials."
Adkins was a 1993 Toll Fellow when he served as a Kansas state representative.
Toll Fellows alumni include U.S. Rep. John Carney, a former Delaware lieutenant governor; U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, a former Hawaii state Senate president; U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, a former Indiana secretary of state; former North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue and former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
This year’s program will be held Sept. 5-10 in Lexington.