Last Friday took me back to my earlier (much earlier) elementary school days.

Well, not exactly back to the classroom, but the excitement during the summer when you found out who was in your class.

Yes, I liked school, I know – I’m a nerd.

But last Friday I got a sneak peek at another list – this one detailing who was going to be joining me in the Lead Culpeper 2016 class.

I was not disappointed.

It was a veritable list of who’s who in Culpeper – and I knew a majority of them. It was kind of like looking at your homeroom list and finding out your two best friends were with you.

But as I looked through the list, I couldn’t help but wonder why some of the folks joined. They were already power brokers in town in my opinion.

One of my favorite energetic folks in town is Lee Langston-Harrison from the Museum of Culpeper History, what more leadership qualities could she learn?

Dan Goldstein has been in town for just a few months but has already made an impact as the Executive Director of Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. But here he is, taking a leadership class right along with me.

It just goes to show that because you have some qualities that make a great leader, that you can’t learn more.

As I read through the list, the names continued to jump out at me – Paige Read with the Town of Culpeper, Chris Miller from Aging Together and Irene Borys from Cyberbility – who also pens a column for us here at the Times.

But two names made me chuckle just by happenstance.

As I read through I saw the name of Wes Mayles, and it didn’t ring a bell. Until I saw Euro-Composites beside it. “Huh,” I thought. “Baby Alex’s dad works at Euro-Composites. His name is Wes…” Then the lightbulb popped up over my head and I put two and two together. My youngest loves the little baby at her daycare and refers to Baby Alex as her brother … and I had made a Pittsburgh refugee connection with Wes at a birthday party a few months prior.

Now, he and I will be in the same Lead Culpeper class.

Another name that jumped out at me was that of Aaron Simmons. We met Aaron almost seven years ago as we began searching for houses and mortgages. He helped us finance our first house and then lowered our rates with a re-finance a couple of years later. One of the nicest guys you could hope to meet, I’m thrilled I get to experience Lead Culpeper with him.

Now I’m just counting down the days until we start the program, April 28-29 at Verdun Adventure Bound.

My wife, who still doesn’t read any of my columns, was puzzled as I gushed about Lead Culpeper starting and who all was going to be in the class.

“What’s that,” she asked, giving me a look, and then quickly added, “how much is it going to cost us?”

After I assured her it wasn’t coming out of her checkbook, I explained the whole program and talked about the retreat that kicks it off.

“Wait, you have to do physical activity,” she said, barely holding back a snicker. “I’m coming to videotape that.”

So now I’m stressing about whether I’ll make a fool of myself during the team building exercises (spoiler alert: I will).

At least I know I’ll be making a fool of myself in front of people I know and respect.



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