Leadership 101 class remains a treasure trove of Park City info
It was 19 years ago that Myles Rademan decided to offer an event that distilled his popular yearlong Leadership Park City training program into a one-day crash course.
Nearly two decades later, the annual Leadership 101 seminar remains a vital resource for those hoping to become involved in or learn more about the crucial issues facing the town. The daylong class, set for Feb. 3, features a lineup of guest speakers that includes many of the most influential people in Park City, including: Mayor Jack Thomas, City Manager Diane Foster, Park City School District Superintendent Ember Conley, and a host of others.
Rademan, director of Leadership Park City, said the course is ideal for anyone with an interest in the greater Park City community. He jokes that the class might better be titled "Civics 101," but that no one would come if it was.
"You read about stuff in the paper or listen to it on the radio, but here they can actually see the people they’re reading about talking about those issues," he said. "We’re still a small enough town that you can come together and see the people making the decisions. And you realize that those people aren’t stupid and aren’t crazy — they’re just people trying to solve real issues."
Rademan initially organized Leadership 101 out of a belief that it is essential for a community to have educated and engaged residents. He said that has never been more true for Park City, whose vitality is nearly entirely dependent on its hospitality industry. Local expertise — be it from a front-desk concierge, cabbie or gas-station clerk — is a crucial ingredient in providing a world-class experience for those who flock from around the world to Park City. That means that nearly everyone in town is, in essence, in the business of selling Park City.
"One reason economies don’t do as well as they can is people forget what business they’re in or they take it for granted," Rademan said. "I explain to people that we’re in the tourism business, and what that really means is we’re in the hospitality business. And if that’s on autopilot, you’re going to lose. We’re not the only town in this business. There are a lot of other towns seeking that business.
"Great communities invest in their roads and trails and schools," he added. "Outstanding communities also invest in their human capital, and that’s leaders."
The course typically draws around 100 people. Other organizations in town put on events throughout the year with a similar purpose, unlike when Rademan started Leadership 101, but he said those who attend often praise its value. He added that he will continue to put on the class as long as interest in it remains.
"I’m not saying everyone who comes to this has to run for the City Council or something — that’s not what it’s for," he said. "It’s really just a basic thing — this is like the Wikipedia of Park City. It’s a chance to learn a lot on one day in a fun atmosphere. It’s a very broad stroke. It’s a one-day thing and you’re going to walk out with so much information."
As well as the value those who attend get from the event, the city leaders who speak at Leadership 101 each year also sing its praises, Rademan said. Without them, he added, the course wouldn’t be possible.
"Over all the years, with 70 or 80 councilors and everyone else, they’ve all been 100 percent supportive," he said. "This isn’t meant to be threating or snippy — it’s a chance to tell our story the best we can."
Leadership 101 is scheduled for Feb. 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Park City Marriott. The cost is $35, which included lunch and refreshment breaks. Those who wish to attend are asked to register and pay with PayPal online at parkcity.org by clicking on the Leadership 101 link. They can also contact Karen Anderson for more information at 435-615-5187 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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