LAAFB Captains Selected for Leadership LA 2009 Fellows Program
By Peggy Hodge, SMC Public Affairs
/ Published July 24, 2009
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Captains Joshua Jewett, System Integration and Test Program manager, Space Based Infrared Systems Wing, and Dex Landreth, chief, Satellite Microwave Sensors, Defense Meteorological Systems Group, were selected to attend the Leadership Los Angeles Class of 2009 Fellows Program. Their fellowship began in March and will run through November.
Captains Jewett and Landreth were two of 30 people selected from more than 500 applicants.
Leadership L.A. has been strengthening Los Angeles County by developing and empowering leaders since 1987. It is a nine-month leadership program for individuals who are becoming increasingly active in leadership roles in their organizations and communities.
Selected individuals get a unique opportunity to dissect and distill critical challenges facing the City and County of Los Angeles, while experiencing a civic leadership framework to enhance personal and professional development. Fellows learn through first-hand experiences about such issues as water, education, entertainment, health care, public safety and arts, culture and civic engagement.
This is only the second year representatives from Los Angeles Air Force Base have participated.
"I think one of the reasons we were chosen is because the military represents a unique part of L.A.," said Capt. Landreth. "We provide a unique perspective. Los Angeles Air Force Base provides a huge economic impact to L.A., especially the South Bay.
The program focuses on educating "Fellows" on the important civic issues in the city, providing professional development to enhance a 'Fellow's' leadership and networking Fellows together to enable them as young L.A. leaders.
A typical class schedule includes sessions on leadership perspectives and personal development; arts, culture and civic engagement; education and workforce development; health care; media and entertainment; public safety; ports and airports; neighborhood development; and water and environment and civic leadership.
Each session is an 8-hour day, explained Landreth. There is six to eight hours of lecture and then discussions and a question and answer session. After each class session, the class takes a "field trip" relating to the subject area of that day.
"The diversity of this year's 'Fellows' contributed to broadening our experience with the community and learning about all the pieces that make Los Angeles tick," said Capt. Jewett.
"And that's what this program is about--educating young civic leaders about our issues and industries within the Los Angeles area."
The class of 2009 Fellows hail from mid- to senior-level positions in businesses, government, and non-profit organizations and are drawn from different communities, age ranges, ethnic groups and philosophical perspectives.
This class included notables as the managing director of Corporate Public Affairs of the ALL Student Loan, the executive director of Building L.A.'s Future, the public affairs manager of Southern California Gas Company, the deputy city attorney of Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power, and many more.
"Captain Jewett and myself are extremely lucky to be associated with the high caliber of people participating in this program," said Capt. Landreth.
"It's been a very good experience for me," said Capt. Jewett. "I've learned a tremendous amount from the classroom material as well as from my classmates. It is really a rewarding program."
As a result of this program, both captains have become involved with projects of their own.
"I had the opportunity to do some college and career mentoring for some students at the LA School of Global Studies," said Capt. Jewett. "It has been such a rewarding experience--some of these kids are incredibly bright; they just lack the resource knowledge to see what's out there."
Captain Jewett also plans to work with the Leadership L.A. program director to incorporate a session on the defense and aerospace industries here in Los Angeles to improve the understanding of the important impact they have on the local economy.
"And right now, I'm working with the U.S Vets, Inc." said Capt. Landreth. "It's a nonprofit group headquartered in Los Angeles but has 10 chapters across the U.S. Their mission is to provide housing, counseling, job assistance and hope to thousands of homeless veterans each year."
"This is a great program and opportunity for people on Los Angeles Air Force Base to get exposure and experience Los Angeles," said Capt. Landreth. "The goal is to encourage a representative or two from Los Angeles Air Force Base each year to attend.
"Not a lot of people know about Los Angeles Air Force Base, so it's a win-win situation--a win for the program and a win for the Air Force."