ISHA’s Leadership Development Program

Published in the May 2024 ISHA Voice

By Kim Peppler, chair of the Leadership Development Program

Over the course of a career, a speech-language pathologist or audiologist may have many different roles.  Oftentimes, leadership roles develop within the workplace or teams, but there may not have been adequate preparation.  ISHA has a unique program designed to help members develop their leadership skills for both professional and volunteer roles.  ISHA’s Leadership Development Program (LDP) provides participants the opportunity to connect with other professionals while acquiring knowledge and skills related to effective leadership.  At the end of LDP, participants are able to develop goals for applying leadership knowledge and skills to professional and volunteer roles. 

This program utilizes material made available for state associations from the Leadership Academy and Leadership Development Program Toolkit from ASHA.  Program participants watch a one-hour webinar focused on a specific leadership topic each month and then meet virtually as a cohort for a facilitated discussion.  Some of the topics explored in this program include emotional intelligence, conflict management, influencing others, and high-performing teams. 

ISHA’s fifth cohort of participants recently completed this seven-month program and had their virtual graduation in March.  This cohort met virtually each month to discuss the various leadership topics related to their work setting, professional roles, or volunteer roles.  The facilitated discussions encouraged participants to reflect on past situations as well as make action plans for the future.  ISHA congratulates the 2024 Leadership Development Program participants on completion of this program and is excited to see how their leadership skills continue to develop.

  • Maureen Orawiec Best
  • Amy Sapienza
  • Amy Rajsky
  • Anne Marie Pasternock
  • Elise Drejas

Through the LDP participants had the opportunity to reflect and develop relationships with other participants and mentors.  Dr. Orawiec Best stated that participation in the LDP provided a unique opportunity to self-reflect and grow as a leader.  She valued the relationships she developed with her mentor and the other facilitators during the discussions.  She commented that this program gave her the opportunity to feel more connected with ISHA and the incredible work of the state association.  Ms. Sapienza felt that LDP equipped her with invaluable insights into effective leadership strategies, which will continue to positively impact her professional journey.  Through the conversations and webinars, she enjoyed learning from SLPs beyond her local area.  Ms. Rajsky valued the safe space to reflect and discuss with leadership topics with aspiring leaders.  She felt that connecting with her cohort and mentors helped to deepen the conversations and understanding of each monthly topic, as well as draw connections between topics and relate the content to day-to-day life as SLPs and as leaders. Due to this program, she now feels more prepared to take on the more difficult parts of leadership, such as conflict management and balancing varying levels of teammate engagement. She feels more confident in her ability to lead authentically both in the field as well as her personal life.  Ms. Pasternock stated that she enjoyed the connections with the other participants and learning from their experiences. She commented that she has so much admiration and respect for the other SLPs in the cohort; it was so much fun to engage in the thought-provoking discussions each week. This program inspired her to become the change she wants to see in our field and gave her the tools get started.  The LDP provided Ms. Drejas with training to help foster growth in her career, increase her involvement in ISHA, and improve her confidence. The discussions gave valuable insight into areas of strength and where she could improve as a speech-language pathologist. Participating in this program was also an excellent opportunity to become a bigger part of the organization which has been so beneficial to her career.

ISHA also appreciates the members of the LDP committee who facilitated the monthly meetings.  These members met with the LDP cohort and lead the discussions on the specific leadership topics.

  • Kim Peppler
  • Tom Parton
  • Valerie Brosius
  • Sarah Moon
  • Carrie Kerr
  • Barb Goodson

Thank you to Paul Doggett and Bryan White with Bostrom for facilitating the virtual meetings for the Leadership Development Program. 

For more information and to apply for the 2024-25 program, please click here.

Kim Peppler has served previously on the Executive Board in the positions of President, Vice President for the Division of Professional Services, and Representative Council Chair, and is currently the chair of the Leadership Development Committee. She is a speech-language pathologist at Vandalia Community Schools.