Chamber Leadership 2023 explores quality of life

Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership 2023 learns about nonprofit organizations supported by the United Way of Cullman County on Thursday, Jan. 19. (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – In their monthly tour of Cullman County, members of the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership 2023 class were introduced to local agencies and locations that add to the community’s quality of life.  

Agile Leadership Coach Melanie Maddox of M2C2 Solutions kicked off the day and led the class in examining its professional and personal motivators. The lively Cullman County Health Department District Administrator Judy Smith educated participants about the many services offered at the local health department, and Jennifer Malone, Cullman Regional marketing director, reviewed recent changes and upgrades to the hospital. 

Dr. Nathan Lewis of Align Alabama Health and Wellness provided an overview of available services, whole body wellness and a tour of the facility located on Loring Street. (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune) 

A visit to Align Alabama Health and Wellness gave the leadership class insight into the holistic approach to whole body wellness offered by Dr. Nathan Lewis and his fellow chiropractors and staff. Explaining an approach that addresses five core components of wellness, Lewis said Align Alabama targets not only chiropractic care, but also emphasizes the inclusion of nutrition, exercise, mindset and detoxification to establish and maintain homeostasis, or balance in body and life. 

A tour of the Cullman Wellness and Aquatic Center (CWAC) by Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism (CPRST) Executive Director Nathan Anderson showed the amenities offered by CWAC, including an indoor pool, a variety of classes, basketball court, cycling room, childcare and new exercise equipment. The tour also included WildWater Waterpark and its expected additions. Noting Cullman’s reputation as a city known for festivals and celebrations, Anderson provided the attendance at these 2022 events: 

Rock the South 65,000 

Strawberry Festival 24,000 

Oktoberfest 20,000 

Bloomin’ Festival 20,000 

Christmas Tree Lighting 10,000 

Christkindlmarkt 10,000 

2nd Fridays 2,000 (attendance average for the three events) 

On the last leg of its journey, the class visited the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, a spiritual retreat and home to Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, where the Poor Clares Nuns of Perpetual Adoration live. Situated on 400 acres of southern Cullman County farmland, the Shrine was built in 1999 based on the vision of EWTN founder Mother Angelica. The Franciscan order was originally founded in 1209 by the Italian Saint Francis of Assisi and the architecture of the region is reflected in the construction of the Shrine. 

The United Way of Cullman County was represented by Community Outreach and Impact Manager MaCayla Murphy, who introduced several of the agencies that receive support from the United Way and the community’s contributors. Among the organizations in attendance were Victim Services of Cullman County, the North Alabama Agriplex and the Cullman County Commission on Aging. 

The Chamber of Commerce describes the leadership class as “a nine-month program designed to identify, prepare and build upon existing leadership resources throughout the community. Participants are given valuable opportunities to meet with leaders in the community to share thoughts and concerns on a variety of issues facing Cullman County.” 

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