March 29, 2022 •
Joanna Kamvouris, Manager, Research Services, Graduated from Akron Torchbearer’s Class of 2021
Tell me about Torchbearers. What is the organization? Torchbearers is a volunteer-run organization founded in 2003 to strengthen the connection between Akron-area nonprofits and emerging leaders as well as to further efforts to attract and retain emerging leaders in Greater Akron. The organization is a bridge between established leadership of the community and leaders of the future. Torchbearers works with more than 150 local organizations, including the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, the Akron Snow Angels, Downtown Akron Partnership, and the International Institute of Akron.
Tell me a little bit about your membership and involvement. I was selected to join the Torchbearers Class of 2021 beginning January 1. In February, I joined the Leadership & Development Committee of Torchbearers facilitated by Executive Director Jeremy Lile of Heart to Heart Communications. The Leadership & Development Committee provides Torchbearers with a year-long curriculum devoted to personal and professional development, board leadership, and community exposure.
When does this group meet? The Leadership & Development Committee of Torchbearers meets virtually on the fourth Thursday of every month in the evenings. Additionally, our committee plans and executes bimonthly Leadership & Development sessions for first-year members on the topics of strengths and personal awareness, communications, collaboration, and leading change.
How do you see Torchbearers as a way to develop your leadership in the community? As a member of the Leadership & Development Committee, I am shaping my individual and collective leadership styles while increasing my engagement in the community. On June 2, I co-planned and hosted a Leadership & Development session on the theme of collaboration. I invited guest panelists from Community Legal Aid Services and the International Institute of Akron to share with first-year members the collaborative work being done to support immigrant and refugee communities in Akron.
What is your favorite part of being a member of Torchbearers? The social interaction at in-person events! Torchbearers hosted its first in-person member event on the evening of June 22 at the Akron Art Museum, and it was a great way to finally meet my fellow members I had been engaging with virtually.
Thank you very much, Joanna. I am inspired by your leadership in the community. All the best to you and your Torchbearers experience!
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