Charleston, WV - The 2017 Toll Fellows were announced this week and Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer was among those selected. Named after the founder of the Council of State Governments (CSG), Henry Wolcott Toll, the Toll Fellowship program is the oldest and most prestigious leadership development program for state government officials.
Each year, the Toll Fellowship brings 48 of the nation’s top officials from all three branches of state government to Lexington, Kentucky for an intensive six-day “leadership boot camp. The program’s sessions are designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth while providing priceless networking and relationship-building opportunities.
“They warned us that we would be challenged to move out of our comfort zones,” said Fleischauer. “If that is what it takes to move to the next level, then I am ready.”
Delegate Fleischauer is an 11 term Delegate from Monongalia County, with a number of legislative leadership assignments to her credit – Chair of House Constitutional Revision Committee, Vice Chair of House Health and Human Resources, and Joint Co-Chair of the Select Interim Committee on Veterans Affairs. She currently serves as Minority Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Serving longer than any other woman currently in the West Virginia House of Delegates, Fleischauer has passed important legislation affecting women, children, energy, veterans and disabled West Virginians. In 2016, she received more votes than any other House member in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
Yet, she can’t help but notice the paucity of women in leadership positions in West Virginia state government. “We are half of the population,” Fleischauer observed, “and except for the Supreme Court, we still don’t see very many female faces in leadership roles in the executive or legislative branches in our state.”
“By not tapping women, we are wasting a huge talent pool," ” she noted. ”Our situation in West Virginia is too serious not to take advantage of all of the assets we have." Fleischauer hopes the Toll Leadership Program will provide her with new tools and strategies for moving West Virginia forward - including its women. Since 1986, only 16 West Virginians have been honored by being selected for this program. In addition to Fleischauer, Ass't Secretary of Administration Mary Jane Perkins will also be a member of the 2017 class of Toll Fellows.