Brian Sandford: Leadership institute goes to the core of Carson City |

Brian Sandford: Leadership institute goes to the core of Carson City

Brian Sandford

More than eight months into my tenure as a Carson City resident, I’m amazed how much I’ve learned about my new home by simply attending events, having lunch with readers, and observing and listening.

But I’ve got lots left to learn. That much was evident during this past week’s two-day orientation of the Chamber of Commerce’s Carson City Leadership Institute.

I’m one of 22 members of the chamber’s 25th leadership class. The institute is designed to give participants an in-depth look at how Carson City functions, with an all-day class focusing on a different element of the city’s operations scheduled each month. Next month’s is titled An Insider’s View of City Government, and subsequent classes will focus on public safety, manufacturing, state government, education, tourism, health and human services.

Tuesday afternoon, I sat at an assigned seat in the Juniper Room at Gold Dust West Casino, gazing at a sea of mostly unfamiliar faces. Chamber Executive Director Ronni Hannaman delivered brief opening remarks, followed by a welcoming from Mayor Robert Crowell.

Via various team-building and personality-analysis exercises over the next four hours, I learned a ton about my classmates, as well as myself. Equally important, I learned I was in for an even more intensive set of lessons about Carson City than I’d expected.

Institute members bonded throughout the evening over pizza, bowling and free pitchers of beer. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the good friends I made during next month’s activities.

The next day began with an intensive history lesson, complete with slides of old photos, delivered by Nevada State Museum History Curator Bob Nylen. I’ve done my share of independent study about Carson City’s rich history, but Nylen shared anecdotes that surprised everyone in the room. Activities later in the day included overviews of government websites, a talk by Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Rick Combs about understanding the legislative process and a meeting with Assemblyman Pete Livermore, who candidly described life as a legislator.

When it comes to understanding Carson City, my consciousness will be expanded considerably in the coming months. That will allow me to serve you better as your editor, and I’ll share some of what I’ve learned along the way.

Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at