Blueprint Participant Gives Inside View

Amanda Patch, Guest Blogger from Blueprint for Leadership 2012

Hello everyone! My name is Amanda Patch and I am the Coordinator of the Beaches Division of the JAX Chamber. In this blog I will be chronicling my experience as a member of the 2012 Blueprint for Leadership cohort. As you may know, this program is intended to provide participants with the knowledge and skills that they will need to become an effective member of a nonprofit Board of Directors. However, after only two sessions with the instructors of Blueprint, I think they will be teaching us so much more.

Amanda getting to know cohort member, Ben Hippeli in group exercise.

Our first session was held at the beautiful Cummer Museum and Gardens. The focus was an introduction to leadership and we were also treated to a panel discussion with several prominent members of the community. As Dr. Judy Smith, President/CEO of Hands on Jacksonville stated

“There are as many definitions of leadership as there are people trying to define it.” This immediately set the tone for the journey of self awareness that we were about to embark upon, one that will help us to determine what kind of leader we want to become.

We took part in a variety of exercises designed to help us get to know each other but this was just the beginning. The next session would give us an understanding of each other on a personal level that I don’t think any of us could have anticipated.

Doug Milne, Esq. (center) presented The History of Jacksonville. Amanda Patch and Mary Davis-Johnson are to his left and Bobby Leverett, Michael Orr, Esq. and Carol Gilham are to his right.

Our second session was held at the University of Phoenix, which will be the site of all future classes until the start of our service project, to be selected by the group at a later date. The morning was spent learning about the history of Jacksonville, which was very interesting. In the afternoon things got much more serious.

Ed Hayes gave his one-of-a-kind diversity presentations for our group! Here he is pictured (center) with Bobby Leverett and Cari Holland encouraging Positive Mental Attitude (PMA!)

Having never participated in diversity training, I didn’t really know what to expect, but the lessons I learned that day will be with me forever. I learned that I had more in common with the people in my class then I could have ever imagined. That everyone has felt different at some point in their lives, and that those feelings can be incredibly painful.  I also learned about the importance of acknowledging our differences and that by doing so a team can become stronger than it ever could if we were all just the same. Even though I have always been respectful of others, the insight that I gained that day will allow me to develop stronger and more authentic relationships both in and out of the workplace.

We invite you to follow us on Facebook, where we have an album of fun photos from the day!

About It's All GOOD!

We inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world. As the on-ramp to volunteering in our community, we work with more than 125 local nonprofit organizations to provide opportunities for people to connect to make a difference.
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6 Responses to Blueprint Participant Gives Inside View

  1. Judith A. M. Smith says:

    Amanda, we’re so pleased and proud to have you as a part of our 2012 Blueprint for Leadership Cohort, and we’re delighted that you will be chronicling your experience! It’s great to see Blueprint through the eyes of those who are experiencing it for the first time, and your blog will be helpful to future Blueprinters for years to come! Thanks for volunteering to help us, and thanks for being a terrific addition to this great experience.

  2. Kathy Orr says:

    I continue to be impressed with the quality of HOJ’s Blueprint for Leadership Program’s graduates. I have served on several local non-profit Boards with individuals who participated in this program, and they have provided significant contributions in developing and executing key strategies to assist the non-profit agencies with successfully fulfilling their respective missions.

  3. Scott Coble says:

    Amanda, thanks for your blog. I am on the HOJ Board but have never been through Blueprint. By relaying your thoughts, I can get a better “feel” for the experience. It will also give me great topics to discuss with our Wells Fargo team members who attend. Again, thank you for taking the time to get the word out about your experience.
    Scott Coble

  4. Ellen Wiss says:


    Thank you so much for sharing your story about your Blueprint involvement. I am in the same group with you and am honored to be in such wonderful company.

    I also share in your enthusiasm for the life lessons we are experiencing through our exercises led by an AWESOME group of community leaders : Dr. Judith Smith with her keen insights on non-profit leadership and her patented method for organizational success, an engaging and caring Panel of representatives from the Mayor’s and Sherriff’s office, Doug Milne- a rare, loving treasure trove of Jacksonville history so rich and full of possibilities-makes us all so proud to be here, and the stirring Master of Diversity training work with us by the amazing Ed Hayes!

    I agree that Blueprint for Leadership is a wonderful program for anyone to grow and learn in an entertaining, engaging and encouraging environment.

    Your chronicle, Amanda, is inspiring and I look forward to reading more along the way.

    Thanks again,
    Ellen Wiss

  5. Ed says:

    It really would be nice to have the names of all persons pictured. What was taking place?

    • Hi Ed, Kim here. That was my “bad”. I’m the one that uploaded the photos and the caption got dropped off when I was moving things around. I’m going to fix that right now! Thank you so much for your wonderful presentation – the class is still talking about it!!!

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