We are excited to announce the three Omega Class recipients of this year’s Al Curran Leadership Intensive Scholarship: Henri N’koy-Bofumbo, Melissa Hutchins, and Ali Al


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Omega Class Al Curran Scholars

posted on November 8th, 2016

We are excited to announce the three Omega Class recipients of this year’s Al Curran Leadership Intensive Scholarship: Henri N’koy-Bofumbo, Melissa Hutchins, and Ali Al Mshakheel.

The Al Curran Leadership Intensive Scholarship Fund was created by Maine-based engineering company Woodard & Curran three years ago to provide annual scholarship assistance to municipal employees in the Intensive. The Scholarship Fund honors Woodard & Curran’s founder, Al Curran, whose participation in the Intensive transformed his leadership style and the development of the company. The Scholarship Fund also reflects Woodard & Curran’s commitment to giving back to their community and strengthening municipal leaders who may otherwise not be able to participate in the program. Lift360 and municipal leaders in the Intensive are grateful for Woodard & Curran’s steadfast support.

To learn more about the Al Curran Leadership Intensive Scholarship fund, see the interview with Woodard & Curran’s CEO Doug McKeown.  Last year, Al Curran was named the Lift360 Distinguished Alumnus–read his full speech, “The Magic of Collaborative Leadership,” delivered to the Psi class and other program graduates.

2016-2017 Al Curran Scholarship Recipients:

henri Henri N’koy-Bofumbo, City of Portland

Henri is the third child in a family of 5. Born in Belgium, he spent his childhood there, and then traveled through early adulthood. He studied Political and Administrative Sciences and Public Accounting; and he is currently working for the City of Portland, as Team Leader Shelter Attendant for the Oxford Street Shelter. He is also the President of the Congolese Community of Maine (CoCo Maine). Henri is happily married, and he has a daughter.

dsc_4296“Since I was a little child, I have always been a leader–at school, in sports, at university, at work, etc…  At the beginning of the year 2016, I was elected President of the Congolese Community of Maine, which is a large and growing community of Congolese immigrants living in Maine; thus, I am conscious of the huge responsibility given to me. As soon as I heard about the Leadership Intensive Omega Class, I said to myself, ‘Henri this is for you, you need it.’ Yes, I needed to better myself in order to face different and new challenges. In fact, my goal is not to be a leader, but an excellent leader. And what is wonderful about the Leadership Intensive Omega Class is that there is always a positive atmosphere of learning and working together as a team. It is so simple, and you find out small things or details that you never paid attention to before, but those details play an important role and make the difference for a leader to be successful.”

melissaMelissa Hutchins, Town of Old Orchard Beach

Melissa is the Administrative Operations Manager for the Town of Old Orchard Beach Public Works and has worked in municipal government for the past 3 years. Her position involves budget development and analysis, project management, MS4 Stormwater compliance, and overseeing operations for Memorial Park. She also develops, evaluates, and implements policies, procedures, standards, goals, and objectives for assigned functions. Melissa is completing her degree in Public Administration; she is a state certified Code Enforcement Officer and Plumbing Inspector; and she holds several Department of Environmental Protection certifications.

dsc_4601“My education and work have helped me gain management experience, but I felt as if I needed something more than hands-on management skills to become a better version of myself. I felt I was missing out on something, but I just could not identify what this something was. I read articles concerning leadership and found that leadership includes management skills, but leadership goes beyond management. Leadership and management appeared to have different approaches to subjects such as vision, direction, and values. So, this made me curious–maybe I was missing leadership skills. I spoke to a few people about this and learned more about the Lift360 Leadership Intensive program. I looked into the program and after discussing with the Town Manager and Director it seemed like Lift360 would give me the opportunity to understand and gain those necessary skills.

What I have learned so far is leadership is focused on the big-picture, team-oriented matters.  Motivation, inspiration, relationship and team building are all important factors in leadership, and the leader inspires and empowers the team. I look forward to learning more about leadership and how to apply these skills in a municipal workplace. I see this will not only benefit me in my professional career, but my personal life, as leadership skills aren’t limited to my job.”

Ali Al Mshakheel, City of Portlandali

Ali is currently working as a Parent Community Specialist for Arabic speakers with Portland Public Schools, and he is an elected board member with World Affairs Council of Maine.

Ali also has more than 13 years of experience in professional journalism, working with international and national media organizations. As a reporter, producer, and/or interpreter, he has worked with ABC News, The Times of London, The New Yorker, NPR, the Asahi Shimbun, and a Japanese daily newspaper. He has also been an editor at the Voices of Iraq news agency in the Arabic service. Before immigrating to the United States in 2014, Ali spent almost two years working for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) as a public information officer.

dsc_3644Ali is in the process of establishing a nonprofit organization for the Iraqi community in Maine – Iraqi Society of Maine. This organization will help the Iraqi community with positive integration, and it will also introduce Iraqi culture to Mainers so that our community has a better understanding of Iraqi people who are resettling in Maine and their deep-rooted culture.

Ali has a BA in English Literature from Baghdad University where he studied Literature and Translation. He also studied Political Science for two years at Baghdad University, pursuing evening studies.

“I find my Omega classmates’ stories and their input very inspiring. I have learned a lot from the wisdom and insight shared. The Outward Bound session surpassed my expectations and the solo was a unique experience for me. I look forward to learning more and to using what I learn in my future projects.”

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