Reflections on Leadership Lancaster – About One Month In

November 5, 2015

As a proud member of the Leadership Lancaster Core Class of 2016, I will be posting periodic updates of my experiences in the program. Learn more about Leadership Lancaster at or feel free to contact me directly with any questions you may have.

“Hi, I’m Tim. By the way, the best Leadership Lancaster class was the class of 2004.”

After our first session of Orientation in September, the Core Class of 2016 was introduced to a group of approximately 250 alumni and friends of Leadership Lancaster. Nearly every alum that I met had a similar introduction to the one above – they claimed that their class was the best class, although they were sure that our class would be good too.

This introduction to the program was an eye-opening experience. In the relatively short time that I’ve been involved in Leadership Lancaster, the passion for helping the Lancaster County Community and connectedness of the staff, board, alumni and current Core Class members has been special.

Here’s a brief overview of the events that I’ve participated in so far:

Opening Retreat – the retreat spanned two days in mid-September and provided a framework for the goals of the program and a lens through which to view our leadership development experience as it will unfold over the next eight months or so.

County Tour – we took a bus tour around Lancaster County, with many diverse stops, including Urban Outfitters’ distribution facility, the Downtown Lancaster Visitors Center, Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA, say it with me: “Luke-Swah-Mah”), (it’s a museum, and a website), Sight and Sound Theatres, Oregon Dairy and Atomic Design.

It’s hard to pick a favorite place because they are all so different and had so much to offer, however I particularly enjoyed the automation and sheer size of the Urban Outfitters facility,  Atomic Design and their innovative approach to logistics and design, and LCSWMA’s integral role in reducing the burden of municipal waste in our community and turning as much of it as possible into energy.

Understanding Differences – we were hosted by The Factory Youth Center, and had a day full of discussion and exercises about how understanding our differences can be beneficial to our organizations and help us develop as better leaders.

I’m looking forward to Friday’s session about Health & Human Services. I’ve met some amazing people in the program and at the various businesses and non-profit organizations we’ve visited.

So far, all indications are that the Core Class of 2016 will be the best class ever.

Matt Landis is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He received his law degree from Widener University and works regularly with business owners and entrepreneurs.