PEAK leaders recognized by House resolution

The PEAK Leadership Program is a project of Peninsula College and Washington State University Team Jefferson Economic Development, which have joined ranks to develop a 10-month, annual community leadership program for 16 emerging leaders who reside in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

The PEAK Leadership class of 2008-2009 received special recognition recently from the Washington State House of Representatives by way of House Resolution 2009-4637. The resolution sponsored by 24th District Reps. Lynn Kessler and Kevin Van De Wege was issued in appreciation for the participants' "dedicated pursuit of excellence," thereby bringing "great distinction to themselves, their communities and this state."

The resolution went on to declare, "That the House of Representatives of the State of Washington heartily commend the participants of the PEAK Leadership Program and their outstanding dedication and service to Clallam and Jefferson counties and applaud them for their exemplary achievement in preparing to meet the challenges of leading communities, and expressing hope for their continuing commitment to rural affairs ..."

The resolution was presented to each of the PEAK Leaders during the group's visit to the Capitol in March.

According to PEAK Leadership director and project coordinator Danille Turissini, this honor was well deserved.

"Participating in the PEAK Program is a significant personal and professional investment on the part of the PEAK leaders, she said.

"Not only do they commit their time and resources in order to participate, but they also open themselves up to the kind of perspective adjustments and transformational change that will be an asset to our communities and the region.

"Giving of oneself in this way is a quality of leadership we can all take pride in. In fact," Turissini said, "that is precisely the point of the House Resolution and an opinion that is shared by our elected state representatives."

Kessler wrote, "Clallam and Jefferson counties will benefit greatly from the PEAK Leadership Program, which teaches valuable collaboration, communication and decision-making skills to community leaders. After meeting PEAK participants this session, I am convinced we in Olympia could learn a thing or two from them."

Likewise, Van De Wege added, "In the midst of what has been a very somber and difficult legislative session, it was refreshing to meet so many bright and talented PEAK Leadership participants. Their energy and enthusiasm will serve the communities of the North Olympic Peninsula very well."

While in Olympia the focus was state government and public policy and was intended as a training exercise for navigating the legislative process and the campus grounds. The group also had the opportunity to get acquainted with the entire 24th Legislative District delegation. On the Senate side, the PEAK Leaders convened with Sen. Jim Hargrove and his senior legislative assistant Patsy Feeley.

"These outstanding individuals in the PEAK Leadership program are important for the coast and peninsula," Hargrove said. "Our communities need strong leadership and strong community involvement - each of these people embody both of those things."

Turissini said, "I wanted the participants to get a real time sense of the inner workings and chaotic atmosphere of a legislative session. Mostly, I wanted to facilitate the reciprocal relationships that would be most meaningful to both the PEAK leaders and our legislative team in Olympia."

The PEAK Leadership

Program is accepting candidate referrals for the PEAK Leadership class of 2009-2010. For information, contact Turissini at 360-301-4134 or

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