Recently, I celebrated my 15-year LMR class reunion. I and many of my classmates gathered to reminisce about our time together during the Fall of 2002 and Spring of 2003. I was one of two classmates on the agenda asked to share how the experience had shaped us.
I pointed out how prior to LMR, I had no board service. My classmate, Lee Reeves, was the Executive Director of a very successful nonprofit he started called Team UP Richmond. During our graduation ceremony back then, Lee asked if I would serve on his board. I shared with him my reservations about having no prior board experience, but Lee said “Ken, you'll be fine”. That exchange started my career of servant leadership in the Richmond non-profit community and beyond.
Soon thereafter, Rita Ricks (LMR ’89), who had recommended LMR to me, also recommended me for the Board of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce; known today as ChamberRVA. Rita later shared that when she originally mentioned my name, the leadership of the Chamber indicated that they had no idea who I was. But once she stated I had just completed LMR, their eyes widened, and I was welcomed to the board.
Several other boards soon followed as news of my status as an LMR alumnus made the rounds. Such that, when the then President of Old Dominion University nominated me to serve on the Board of my alma mater, there was plenty of board experience on my resume. Appointment to the Board of Visitors of ODU by Governor Warner was the first of now 5 gubernatorial appointments. Since 2003, in all, I’ve served on 20 boards; and have turned down numerous others in light of my day job.
LMR is the place where I learned the principles of facilitation and collaboration; where I learned a greater understanding of social issues of the Richmond region; and where I was first exposed to the concept of servant leadership. All of these traits have become the foundation for my years of community involvement at a leadership level. Participation in THE BEST CLASS EVER instilled the desire in me to leave the world a better place then how I found it. John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”. Thanks to LMR, we learn how to lead.
Ken Ampy, Astyra Corporation
Class of 2003