Leadership Oklahoma announced its 33rd annual class on Friday, with Carter County being well represented.
Three members out of the freshly appointed 52 will be from Carter County.
Director of Ardmore Behavioral Health Collaborative Ashley Godwin, Southern Tech Superintendent David Powell and Carter County Commissioner Jerry Alvord will embark on a 10-month journey throughout the state of Oklahoma to learn and discuss social, environmental and economic complexities in the state.
“I was very surprised, very excited, it was my first time applying. There is a little bit of intimidation because you are with all these really big-name people,” Godwin said. “I have lived in Ardmore my entire life, and there are so many places I have never been to in Oklahoma. To go experience that piece of these other cities but also knowing that we are looking at serious issues and that I can be a part of solutions in the years to come.”
The applicants applied in March and those who were accepted received notification last Friday of their acceptance. The program runs from August to May of the following year.
The purpose is to help educate leaders from across the state of  issues facing the state, while allowing them to voice their opinion on the issues effecting the areas they visit.
After finishing the program, the members, as alumni, help other people throughout the state with governmental, school and military issues.
Having three members from a county of this size participate in the Leadership Oklahoma program is humbling to the three applicants, and something they are proud of.
“That means a lot to me, to represent Carter County,” Alvord said. “It tells me that what we are doing in Carter County is being noticed and is mattering. A lot of what we’re doing here is on the good side, and being noticed. I am proud to represent Carter County in Leadership Oklahoma.”
Alvord has completed other leadership programs like Leadership Ardmore, and felt applying for Leadership Oklahoma would be the next step in his career.
Alvord is not the only member to have participated in Leadership Ardmore before becoming a member of Leadership Oklahoma. Powell also took the same route, but had to wait a little bit longer before being selected.
After missing out on previous applications, Powell was selected to this year’s class and is excited to represent Carter County.
Powell hopes through the program the leaders of the state will come together and help the people of Oklahoma see their full potential.
“I have been through several leadership programs, including Leadership Ardmore, and the next logical step is to get involved in the state level,” Powell said. “I am very excited to be a participant and represent Carter County. We are very well represented.”