Elkhart Leadership Academy & The Consolidation of the Elkhart Circuit and Superior Courts Locations
Apr 13, 2020 12:00 PM
**Double-Feature**: Melissa Ramey and Mike Yoder
Elkhart Leadership Academy & The Consolidation of the Elkhart Circuit and Superior Courts Locations
It's a Double-Header Monday at Rotary!
Presentation 1:
Melissa Ramey, Director of Business Development, is responsible for sales of new memberships and major events including Annual Meeting, Golf Outing and Biz-Ness Expo. She is the liaison to the Leadership Council and oversees the Leadership Academy.
The Elkhart Leadership Academy's Mission:
To promote servant leadership through an awareness program combining key community issues and enhanced leadership skill development to advance community stewardship.

Their Focus:
How is the Elkhart Leadership Academy different from other leadership training programs? It's our focus. The purpose of the Academy is to provide a venue for in-depth understanding of community issues and awareness. Critical leadership skills are presented and then experienced.

Many of Elkhart County's most visible leaders are graduates of the Elkhart Leadership Academy. Past graduates have excelled in their respective business and community leadership roles. Most cite their participation in this program as having had a significant impact on their ability to grow as individuals and enhance their commitment to bettering the community in which they live and work.

Program Highlights:

  • Two day (overnight) retreat
  • Study of behavioral styles
  • Quality of life issues, both personal and professional
  • Introduction to local arts and culture
  • A look at government, entrepreneurship and the local economy
  • An overview of the local educational system
  • Ethical decision making/diversity experiences
  • Conflict resolution
  • Project experiences and overview of the year
  • Graduation and alumni luncheon

Commitment Required:
The Elkhart Leadership Academy requires a full nine-month commitment, September through May. Attendance at the overnight retreat and eight subsequent sessions is mandatory in order to graduate. Sessions are from 7:45 am to 5:00 pm one day each month, generally on the second Wednesday. A complete schedule will be given to all participants at the retreat. Participants are expected to spend a minimal amount of time working on an outside group project and serve a one-year Board Internship.

Presentation 2:
Mike Yoder, Elkhart County Commissioner, will provide an update on the possibility of consolidation for the Elkhart Circuit and Superior Courts' locations.

Background from ABC 57 News article from February 15, 2019 

Officials in Elkhart County are considering combining court houses after a measure may be approved to allow it. According to our reporting partners at The Elkhart Truth, a study has been ongoing in Elkhart County regarding their two court houses. The study has monitored the pros and cons of consolidating the original Elkhart County Court House in Goshen and the newer building in Elkhart. The $45,000 study was approved in November by the Board of Commissioners but will soon end.

During the conduction of the study, judges and county employees have been surveyed about how they use the space and would like to use it in the future. The Elkhart County Council will receive recommendations that come from the study, and potentially grant the funding for the consolidation. A bill passed by the Senate on January 14 removes the requirement that certain superior court judges be located in Elkhart and Goshen.

In Goshen, the original court house hosts the circuit court and two of the six superior courts. The newest court in Elkhart holds the four remaining superior courts and the juvenile magistrate’s office. Senator Blake Doriot, who introduced the bill, said it will allow judges to hold sessions at any place in the county provided by the commissioners. Elkhart County officials are now waiting for the final approval at the Statehouse.