Wyoming transplant’s latest frontier: Leadership Thurston County

Ross Jarvis graduated from Leadership Thurston County in June 2018.

The day Ross Jarvis met his wife, he told her parents, “I’m going to marry your daughter.” It didn’t go over as smoothly as he had hoped.

But that confidence and passion had already set him on his first adventure: from his hometown of Gillette, Wyo. to Seattle, Wash. It would eventually send him on another: to her hometown in Olympia.

Ross joined SCJ when he moved to Thurston County in 2010 and is now the civil engineering manager in the Lacey office.

Showing that familiar passion for his new role, he said, “Moving into more of a leadership position here, I wanted to learn more about different leadership styles. Amy (Head) and Scott (Sawyer) had both taken Leadership Thurston County before, and hearing about their experiences piqued my interest.”

The mission of Leadership Thurston County (LTC) is to develop informed, skilled, and committed community leadership, representative of the area’s diverse citizens. Ross said he learned a lot during the 10-month program, which is divided into a full, issue-focused day each month.

“We learned about the issues facing the county and all the things people are doing to address them,” he said. “What struck me is how interconnected all the days are.”

Topics include education, business and economic development, government, health and human services, art and culture, law and justice, and the environment.

Ross said he found government day, and the commitment of our elected officials, particularly surprising. This time, he noted their passion, “It’s really a thankless job. It’s supposed to be a part-time job for them while they work in other careers, but they go above and beyond for issues they care a lot about. They really have a heart for service.”

Ross and nearly 40 others graduated from this year’s program at a ceremony in June. The 2018-2019 LTC year starts in September, and another SCJ team member, Thera Black, will start down this enriching path.

To learn more about Leadership Thurston County, visit leadthurstoncounty.com.

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