Leadership Hudson - Creating an Intelligent Community
Leadership Hudson was formed in 2002 to educate individuals who live and work in Hudson about the city government, schools, businesses, and organizations that make up the community. Leadership Hudson encourages participation and citizen co-creation in volunteer and civic organizations to build leadership resources to serve current and future community needs.Throughout its 17 years, Leadership Hudson classes have collaborated to make significant and innovative additions and improvements to the Hudson community. Read about Leadership Hudson's efforts below.
"Leadership Hudson is thrilled that our community has been recognized as an Intelligent Community in 2019! We have worked to develop leaders in the community since the inception of Leadership Hudson as a service project of The Rotary Club of Hudson Clocktower in 2002. We have strived for the past 17 years to educate residents who work or live in Hudson about our various community organizations and businesses; encourage alumni participation in volunteer and civic organizations; build leadership resources for the future needs of Hudson; and, to give future leaders the means to share their talents and ideas to better our community. We are delighted to see our almost 170 Leadership Hudson alumni giving back and making such positive contributions to our community in many elected, appointed and volunteer positions in civic, community and government organizations."
-Bob Carter, Leadership Hudson Facilitator
Collaboration among business, government, and institutions in the community generates an innovation ecosystem.
Leadership Hudson was formed in 2002 to educate individuals who live and work in Hudson about the city government, schools, businesses, and organizations that make up the community that scored #6 in Cleveland Magazine’s 2018 ‘Rating the Suburbs’. The goal of Leadership Hudson is to encourage participation and citizen co-creation in volunteer and civic organizations to build leadership resources to serve current and future community needs.
The 9 month educational program is presented to an annual class of approximately 14 members comprised of participants from the City of Hudson, the Hudson City School District, and various businesses combined with members of community organizations and Hudson residents. Each class has the opportunity to tour Hudson High School, Western Reserve Academy, Seton Catholic School, and Hudson Montessori School to experience Hudson’s award-winning public-school system as well as one of the finest parochial and independent schools in the state and in the country. Participants learn about Hudson’s history and its founder, David Hudson, who settled there from Goshen, Connecticut in 1799 when it was part of the Connecticut Western Reserve and its important role in the Underground Railroad from a local historian. Hudson’s City Manager and Mayor discuss the challenges Hudson faces staying connected to its past while building for its future. City Council and City Board members present information about city government, community development, and Boards and Commissions. City staff present information about the city’s finances and technology. The class also learns about the City of Hudson’s public safety services and gains an understanding of why the City of Hudson was chosen as one of the top five safest cities in Ohio by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.
The class also goes on field trips to local businesses and learns about Hudson’s residential and commercial real estate situation for a better understanding of Hudson’s economic development benefits and challenges. Leadership Hudson classes have the opportunity to learn about community resources for older adults, addiction and recovery, parent support, and the food pantry. In addition, speakers from the Hudson Library and Historical Society, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Hudson Community Education and Recreation, Summit County Public Health, and the Summit County Executive give Leadership Hudson participants the opportunity to see Hudson from the “big picture” perspective with a well-rounded understanding of Hudson’s needs and resources.
Armed with a wealth of knowledge gained throughout the nine-month program, each Leadership Hudson class develops a service -project that is intended to economically, educationally, or culturally benefit the Hudson community. Classes are expected to market their project and raise the funds to implement these citizen co-created projects. Some very successful innovations have been funded through Leadership Hudson.
The longest running citizen co-created project is Taste of Hudson. This project by the Class of 2004 is an annual community festival and fundraiser that showcases the menus of Hudson restaurants in the heart of downtown Hudson. An average of 25,000 people flock to Hudson on Labor Day weekend to enjoy the family friendly event that includes art vendors, entertainment, and a beer and wine garden, in addition to the taste-sized portions from Hudson restaurants.
Historically the event relied on a dining card for purchases, however in 2017, the event switched over to using iPads with the Square Point of Sale App powered by wi-fi through the City of Hudson’s Velocity Broadband. Velocity Broadband facilitated 28,869 vendor transactions during the 2017 and 2018 events. The convenience and reliability of this payment method that greatly enhanced Taste of Hudson was met with rave reviews from festival goers.
Proceeds from the Taste of Hudson are distributed annually to more than a dozen non-profit organizations in the Hudson area and to the primary beneficiary, Akron Children’s Hospital School Health Services and Sports Medicine. More than $397,000 has been granted since the inception of Taste of Hudson.
The Class of 2007 created the Hudson Farmers Market that operates seasonally on the historic Clock Tower Green on Saturday mornings June through October.
The goal of the market was to establish a self-sustaining, self-managed non-profit farmers market to benefit local and surrounding communities, artisan producers, and small businesses. The Hudson Farmers Market opened for business in the summer of 2007 with 25 vendors. Today, it has more than 35 vendors providing healthy, fresh foods and horticultural products.
The Hudson Farmers Market offers a yearly scholarship to a Hudson High School graduating senior planning to continue education with a focus on agriculture, an agricultural-related field, community service, culinary arts, environmental science, or sustainability.