Leadership Akron has chosen 24 individuals for its ninth NEXT class, a program that provides the opportunity for experienced leaders to reimagine their next chapter of community involvement and impact.

“I would recommend NEXT to anyone in the Akron community who is retiring or getting close to retirement,” said Becky Weihe, an IBM Corp. retiree who participated in Class 8. “The program is like having a front-row seat to what is happening in Akron. It’s invaluable to have the opportunity to hear from community leaders directly, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet some great people who live in our community taking the NEXT journey with you.”

NEXT participants examine community needs and assets and are introduced to new leadership or engagement opportunities in the Greater Akron community. The program meets for eight sessions from September through November.

Members of the new class, and their present or past community affiliations:

Janice Alpeter, Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools; Jon Bluebond, Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities; James R. Boex, University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center; Amy Bowers, volunteer;

Kim Burkins, Signet Jewelers Inc.; Marian Calvin, the Salvation Army Summit County Area Services; Anne Lynett Clark, Signet Jewelers; Anita Davis, Summit County Department of Job & Family Services;

Elizabeth Engels, Acer Business Consultants; Polly Glanville, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; Rebecca Guzy Woodford, Greater Akron Chamber; Karyn Katz, the University of Akron;

Steven J. Katz, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce; George Klein, Klein Management Company; Susan Klein, Bath Country Journal; Barbara Lochridge, volunteer;

Margaret Mallady, Cleveland Clinic; Penny Owen, Cultural Creativity; Cindy Petures, Shaker Heights City Schools; Cheryl Sadler, University of Akron;

Lorin Schultz, Colliers International; Hatem Shah, civil engineer; Anne Varian, University of Akron; and Bonnie Lass Wojno, Walsh Jesuit High School.

Go to leadershipakron.org for more information about the program.