East Hampton resident completes the ‘Quest’ of a lifetime

By Leadership Greater Hartford
East Hampton - posted Fri., Dec. 27, 2013
Diana Marsh recently completed Leadership Greater Hartford’s Quest Program. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

East Hampton resident Diana Marsh recently completed Leadership Greater Hartford's Quest Program. Quest is the most recognized community-based leadership development program for professionals working throughout the Greater Hartford region, a landmark initiative of LGH for more than three decades. The program brings together rising and established professionals from the corporate, government, nonprofit, academic and small business sectors and provides them with the opportunity to build the skills, contacts and knowledge of the community needed to be effective in their careers and their communities.

Marsh, director of training and process improvement for United Healthcare, said, "Through the Leadership Greater Hartford Quest program, I feel like I have grown not only from a professional perspective, but also as a person. Professionally, the program provided me with an opportunity to learn new techniques and skills and then use these skills in a setting that gave me a whole new outlook on Hartford. The networking piece of this program was nothing short of amazing, and through it I have met some incredibly talented people. Personally, I have met some great friends that have made a big impact on me and how I will look at life going forward. All and all, I am extremely thankful for the time I spent in the Quest program."

Quest consists of workshops, field experiences and, central to the program, a community service learning component that partners with various nonprofits in the Greater Hartford region. Through hands-on community projects, Quest participants work in teams and learn the tools and insights needed to become collaborative leaders, think creatively, act collaboratively and take purposeful risks. This real-world experience is invaluable to assuring positive leadership growth and development.

Marsh worked on a taskforce with the Career Beginnings Program at the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education. The team was charged with creating a media device that would tell the story of the Career Beginnings program, which connects Hartford-area high schools, businesses, volunteers/mentors and parents in a coordinated effort to increase the percentage of Hartford teenagers who graduate from high school, pursue higher education and fulfill career goals.  Marsh and her taskforce created a magnificent 25-page booklet, which is now being used and distributed by HCHE to interested parties throughout the region.

The 11-month program kicks off with an orientation and retreat in January and ends with November class presentations and commencement. Workshops throughout the program focus on learning about one’s own leadership personality, participatory decision-making, effective group dynamics and leadership practices, including change leadership. The field experiences allow participants to meet the area’s key players and organizations, better understand the region’s assets and challenges, and gain a greater understanding of creative problem-solving while leveraging limited resources.

Leadership Greater Hartford is accepting applications and nominations for those interested in Quest 2014. Fifty professionals will be selected to participate in the program. The class begins in January. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so apply now to develop your leadership skills, build your professional network, and bring change to the community. For more information, contact Ana Valentin-Jackson, program director, at 860-951-6161 x22 or e-mail ana.valentin-jackson@leadershipgh.org.

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