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Ko Tang Cha-Moses Graduates from The Chamber of Catawba County’s Commerce Leadership Program

Ko Tang Cha-Moses, Senior Manager at Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. became a graduate of the 46 th class of the Leadership Catawba program on May 13, 2021.   A luncheon was held at Lake Hickory Country Club and certificates were given by Kim Dahlsten and Dedra Flournoy, Chairwoman of the Chamber Board, while officiated by Lindsey Keisler, President of The Chamber of Catawba County. The program is offered annually by The Chamber of Catawba County and applicants go through a selection process. The program is typically a 6-month program designed to help individuals who have demonstrated leadership potential to become more effective and influential leaders in the community. The 2020-2021 class had additional time this year due to COVID-19 lasting 8 months.  

This year’s program kicked off in August 2020 with a half-day Zoom session of meet and greet between the 2020-2021 class. Yes, Zoom! The students this year were fortunate enough for the Chamber to find ways to still keep the program alive and going despite the pandemic. “I really didn’t know what to expect because of COVID-19, but we did it and I couldn’t have imagined it any other way. I appreciate all that the Chamber has done for us, and this county. They continued their traditions and have made community leaders out of us. My words from this class – speak and tell, because people don’t know if you don’t tell them” says Ko Tang Cha-Moses.  

The annual teambuilding session at Tree Top Adventures on Lake Hickory, NC was postponed to later in the month but still occurred, applying safety measures for COVID-19. During the year, visits to local businesses and organizations were also part of the agenda for the program. Over 100 business entities in the Catawba County area welcomed the group and assisted with various parts of the sessions planned.   

As a requirement to graduating the leadership program, class members were asked to participate in group service projects that positively impacts the county. Members were divided into teams based on their interests and passions. Ko Tang was on the Career and Technical Education Targeted Plan team in which they were asked to provide recommendations to K-64 and local schools to help with their initiatives on job opportunities. Determining the challenges K-64 and the schools faced was the beginning to this project and the team discussed in several meetings a problem statement. “I didn’t realize how many jobs were available in the county that didn’t require a college degree. If I don’t know, they (public) don’t know, so there’s a problem there,” says Ko Tang. The team wanted to tackle the problem of how to communicate opportunities to people in the county, so that’s what they did. Recommendations regarding communication and how to get the word out were provided to K-64 at graduation. Although this doesn’t solve the entire problem K-64 faces, the team hopes that it is the beginning.   

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2021 – 2022 class. Please contact Kim Dahlsten at kdahlsten@catawbachamber.org if you or anyone you know is interested.