VALDOSTA — Participants in the Community Xccelerator kicked off their first session on Tuesday, August 13 and were introduced to Valdosta Fire Department Chief Brian Boutwell and John Maxwell Executive Director, Lynne Brown. Chief Boutwell spoke to the group about his journey and lessons learned while achieving his goal to become chief of the fire department. Participants listened as he shared his mindset transformation from being focused on monetary compensation to serving others, which began to open doors for him.
“If you want to be successful, especially in public safety, your heart has to be in the right place. Every day you come in, make somebody else’s day better. That’s it.”
According to DeWayne Johnson, the Community Xccelerator program director, the purpose of Chief Boutwell’s visit was to serve as the public service proponent for the Xccelerator’s 3Ds (Drive, Dedication, and Determination).
Participants also got an opportunity to meet and mingle with several Valdosta firefighters and were up close and personal with the firefighters’ equipment and a fire engine that accompanied Chief Boutwell to the kickoff for the Community Xccelerator.
“It was great meeting the other firefighters and getting some insight into the training and different obstacles they have to overcome. I absolutely enjoyed the first kick-off session. I am looking forward to the next meeting!” stated Jasmine Miles, Xccelerator participant, and safety sitter at South Georgia Medical Center. Miles was the first person to sign up once registration opened for the Community Xccelerator.
Before he and his team departed, Chief Boutwell was presented with a donated gift of appreciation from The Home Depot, courtesy of store manager Peter Layne.
The Xccelerator session continued the evening with Lynn Brown, who is an executive trainer, speaker, and coach with The John Maxwell Team who provides leadership and personal development.
Participants were engaged for the rest of the evening as Brown interacted using activities related to goal execution and creating a growth mindset. As she provided motivational coaching throughout the rest of the session, Brown kept the floor open for active participation. Before she left, Brown gave away copies of the book “Leadershift”, written by John Maxwell.
Joy McBride, a Manager of Service Marketing Software at CDK Global, signed up to participate in the Community Xccelerator after connecting with DeWayne Johnson on LinkedIn.
After the session, McBride expressed, “The kick-off meeting exceeded my expectations. I really enjoyed listening and interacting with Lynn Brown. She lit a fire in me and has me so inspired. I cannot wait for our next meeting and am truly happy I decided to sign up!”
Brown commended the participants for taking the step to join the Community Xccelerator program and added, “You might have a whole set of new friends before it’s all said and done. When you’re growing and the people around you are not growing, you leave them behind because your mindset changes and you believe in what your thinking.”
The Community Xccelerator is a program initiated by the H. DeWayne & Amanda Johnson BridgeBuilder Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Community Xccelerator is developed to connect, inspire, and empower local residents and collegiate students by exposing enrolled individuals to proven strategies for goal execution, financial and wealth empowerment, business development, and personal improvement.
Sessions take place at the Willis L. Miller Library, and catering for all sessions is provided by Chick-fil-A Valdosta Mall.
Participants spend their time during the program in close cooperation with local and regional business leaders, community leaders, and subject experts in order to meet the goal of the program. However, a key benefit of the Community Xccelerator program is that participants are able to invest their time with other individuals that are just as driven and are seeking to elevate their successes.
According to Lauren Hurley, Community Xccelerator participant, “It was nice to be surrounded by others who are working towards their own goals and eager to learn from others.” Hurley, who is the Council Director for Girls On The Run South Georgia, was encouraged to join the program after attending an interest meeting.
Although this year’s program has just begun, participant Sheila Hall, proclaimed, “Very inspiring and a perfect intro. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming meetings. Calendar marked, mind open, heart engaged.” Hall, who signed up shortly after viewing a Community Xccelerator promotional video on YouTube, is an IT Specialist at Valdosta State University.
For more information about how to participate in the Community Xccelerator, go to https://www.bridgebuilderinvestments.com/xccelerator, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reach the Community Xccelerator Program Director, DeWayne Johnson.