Lawmaker represents Michigan at national leadership conference
Rep. Tom Pearce was among 37 elected officials from across the country recently selected for the prestigious Henry Toll Fellowship Program sponsored by The Council of State Governments convened in Lexington, KY. The program is one of the nation’s premier leadership development programs for state government officials and the most widely recognized one serving all three branches.
“This was an amazing opportunity to sit in workgroups not only with legislators from around the country but with state administration and judicial leaders as well,” said Pearce, R-Rockford. “It allowed me to gain far greater insights on how to better work with all three branches of state government.”
This year’s Toll Fellows class included leaders from 31 states and 2 U.S. territories. Participants included three secretaries of state, a treasurer, a Supreme Court justice, various cabinet officials, a speaker, nine senators and eight representatives.
The annual seminar, named in honor of Henry Toll, a Colorado senator who founded CSG in 1933, seeks to empower leaders from all three branches of state government. This year’s program focused on adaptive leadership, policy development, media and constituent relations, leadership, and institutional changes. The experience gives these leaders perspectives they would not ordinarily obtain during the course of their regular governmental service.
The Council of State Governments forecasts policy trends for states, commonwealths and territories on a national and regional basis. It alerts elected and appointed officials to emerging social, economic, and political trends; offers innovative state policy responses to rapidly changing conditions; and advocates multi-state problem-solving to maximize resources and competitiveness. CSG promotes excellence in decision-making and leadership skills and champions state sovereignty.
Pearce was nominated for the annual week-long seminar last May by House Republican Leader Kevin Elsenheimer, with letters of support from House Speaker Andy Dillon and Republican Floor Leader Dave Hildenbrand.
Before elected to serve the residents of the 73rd House District in November 2004, Pearce served as the executive director of the North Kent Service Center. He has continued his focus on the family while a legislator by serving on the National Conference of State Legislatures’ committees on Human Services and Welfare, and Education; and on the American Legislative Exchange Council’s task forces on Education, and Health and Human Services.
A Cornerstone University graduate, as a lawmaker Pearce has completed the 2004 Michigan State University Legislative Leadership Program, a 2006 fellowship with the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development, and was elected by his peers to be Caucus Dean for the 2009-10 term.