Rochester Christian University


Rochester Christian University honors Oakland County leaders

Dr. Brian Stogner, president of Rochester Christian University, honors Oakland Leadership Academy participants. photo by Jaymes Vettraino

Rochester Christian University recently honored 21 leaders from Oakland County, Michigan, for completing the inaugural class of the Oakland Leadership Academy, which helped mid- and upper-level county managers explore leadership from multiple perspectives. 

The first cohort of 21 county employees was chosen by their managers for the educational opportunity. RCU was selected in 2023 to co-create and teach the academy, which focused on the development of leadership training skills and emphasized themes of greatest importance to the county, including:

  • leadership style
  • effective supervision of employees
  • interpersonal communication skills
  • human resource policies
  • project and time management
  • ethics

The participants completed a 16-week course that culminated with seven capstone presentations providing innovative ideas to keep Oakland County All Ways Moving Forward.

RCU’s Jaymes Vettraino, chair of the Department of Management and assistant professor of business, worked with county leaders to create the educational offerings, teach the seminars and coordinate guest speakers. 

“Our goal is for the leadership training to advance the career goals of the individual, which in turn will provide increased value to the county and its residents,” he said. 

A key aspect of the program was its focus on the county’s Strategic Goals:  

  • a skilled and educated workforce
  • livable neighborhoods
  • public safety and fairness in the criminal justice system
  • environmental sustainability
  • diversity, equity and inclusion
  • healthy residents
  • a thriving and inclusive economy

Vettraino said participants learned through lectures, interactive experiential learning, out-of-class readings, reflection assignments and peer team learning. 

Graduates of the program received an RCU Leadership Badge and a certificate of completion from Oakland County. The program is facilitated by the university in cooperation with the Oakland County Department of Human Resources. The academy will be offered biannually for at least three years.