LIA Member Story: Charles Fenstermaker

President Charles Fenstermaker of C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates, LLC shares how Leadership Lafayette continues to help him be more active and engaged in our community.
Fenstermaker, Charles

Which LIA program(s) have you participated in?

Leadership Lafayette

Briefly describe your life as a leader before LIA.

I was engaged solely in our business, had little-to-no community involvement and didn’t know where to begin to get involved.

How did you hear about LIA and/or its programs?

I had an uncle that went through the program as well as several friends.

What made you want to participate in an LIA program?

I was looking for ways to plug in and get involved in the community.

What were you hoping to learn and/or gain from the experience?

I was looking to learn more about the community and gain the experience necessary to contribute.

What were you most nervous about prior to participating?

I was nervous that I didn’t know much and that I would be surrounded by classmates who had way more experience with all of the topics covered. I was also nervous about SIMSOC (Simulated Society).

What was your favorite part of the experience?

The diverse class and the depth of the topics covered.

What surprised you the most about your experience?

I really became a decent generalist on most of the elements of the community. I went from zero interest and experience to knowing at a high level what I was talking about.

What has been your greatest or most rewarding achievement since your experience with LIA?

I have really plugged in at both the local and state level through organizations including 1A, LABI, and PAR, and I continue to work with the LIA board to promote an organization that I really believe in.

Who do you think would benefit from the program and why?

Anyone looking to be civically engaged.

Is there any advice you’d like to give future participants?

Keep an open mind (and calendar) and soak in the entire experience.

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