CANTON, OH (January 5, 2011) – Leadership Stark County is seeking applicants for its Government Leadership Academy. The Government Leadership Academy offers elected officials, appointed officials and aspiring candidates leadership development skills and education about local and regional government. Jeff Matthews, chair, The Stark County Republican Party and Randy Gonzalez, chair, Stark County Democratic Party, both recommend the academy. The program will begin Tuesday, Feb 8, 2011. The academy targets individuals serving in or aspiring for public office who wish to enhance their decision-making and leadership skills. Participation in the program will result in:

* Greater knowledge about Northeast Ohio as an economic region * Enhanced leadership expertise and decision-making skill * Broader networks of elected and appointed officials across political boundary lines

Past participants include:

Ronald Beltz, Hartville Village Council Keith Bennett, Stark County Engineer Nancy Marion, North Canton School Board Anna Capaldi, Perry Township Trustee Janet Creighton, former Mayor of Canton and Deputy Assistant to the President Lawrence Dordea, Alliance City Council Pat Fallot, Mayor and council member, City of Louisville Frank Forchione, judge, Stark County Court of Common Pleas Scott Haws, Plain Township Trustee David Hersher, Massillon City Council Steven Meeks, interim director, Jackson Belden Chamber of Commerce David Regula, Bethlehem Township Trustee Chris Smith, Canton City Council Cynthia Timberlake, clerk of council, City of Canton

The Government Leadership Academy, a program of Leadership Stark County, with support from the Stark County District Library, is designed to increase the understanding of local government and how it functions. Professor Chet Bowling from The Ohio State University Extension facilitates the curriculum. Participants will meet and work with community leaders, focus on regionalism and assess personal leadership practices. The class takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays from Feb. 8 through Mar. 17, meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Cost is $350 per person and includes all materials and refreshments. Partial tuition assistance is available. Applications for the Government Leadership Academy are being accepted until Jan. 21 or until space fills. For more information, contact Fran Wells, director, Leadership Stark County, at (330) 458-2094. Applications and more information about the program is available at