Teamwork is the Driving Force Behind 2016 Lynch Scholarship Recipient

Sesser, Illinois, Mayor Chad Jason Ashmore believes that success in leadership is a team effort. Ashmore's commitment to strengthening his community is demonstrated in his efforts to establish a robust support system and by equipping himself with the education, tools and resources needed to improve his skills as a local leader. These attributes reflect the values demonstrated by the political career and aspirations of Councilmember Michael Lynch, for whom the Michael H.T. Lynch Scholarship is named. The Lynch scholarship is awarded annually to NLC members who are interested in attending the NLC University Leadership Summit.

"This statement requires me to list my involvement in the community, but I always like to make sure to let everyone know that nothing is done just by myself," Ashmore reflects.

Ashmore was elected mayor of the city of Sesser in April 2013. His decision to run for office was triggered by watching his community spiral deeper into debt due to lack of transparency, seven years of no-bid contracts, and improper audit protocols. With the great support of his community, Ashmore led the charge to pay down debt, cut wasteful spending, update city finance, and increase transparency throughout the city.

Networking and peer-to-peer learning has been instrumental in strengthening Ashmore's skillset and his ability to better serve the city of Sesser. He has joined a myriad of organizations in order to tap into their networks and resources. Ashmore has also pursued professional development opportunities to increase his knowledge base in order to become a better leader and mentor to the youth of the Sesser community. He recently completed the Delta Regional Authority's Executive Leadership Program and received a Leadership Certificate from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Ashmore was selected to receive the scholarship from a large number of essays and applications submitted by leaders across the country. Upon notification that he had been awarded the Lynch Scholarship, Ashmore stated, "Cities of all sizes face a lot of the same challenges in their communities. I am looking forward to networking with leaders from all around the country to learn new ideas, bring them back to the city of Sesser, and use them to move our community forward."

Ashmore's passion for education, coupled with his team mentality, exemplifies the determination to make a difference and the eagerness for learning for which Michael Lynch is remembered.

In addition to his service as the Mayor of Sesser, Illinois, Chad Jason Ashmore serves as Treasurer of the Southern Illinois Mayor's Association, Treasurer of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Member of the Board of Directors for the Southern Illinois Community Foundation, Commissioner with the Greater Egypt Planning Commission, and Delta Regional Authority Delta Leadership Network Co-Chairman for Illinois. He is a member of the National League of Cities, the City Club of Chicaco, the Illinois Government of Finance Officers, the Association of Municipal Management Assistants, and the Illinois City/County Management Association.

Please visit the NLC University website for more information about the Michael H.T. Lynch Memorial Scholarship or the 2016 Annual Leadership Summit.