Leadership Torrance Class of 2003

Fran Fulton

Economic Development Manager

City of Torrance

1. Where were you in your career right before joining Leadership Torrance?

When I participated in Leadership Torrance I was the Business Services Manager for the Carson/Lomita/Torrance Workforce Investment Network which was a partnership of those cities administered by the City of Torrance.  WIN connected businesses and job seekers through funding allocated by the federal Workforce Investment Act. At that time I was a City of Torrance employee but paid through the grant funds allocated to WIN.  My background was in private industry, having worked for a national construction general contractor in human resources; in retail as a store manager; in hospitality in human resources and then accounting for a hotel; and lastly in staffing working in outside sales.  I was able to bring that experience into a government role which enabled me to relate to the businesses that I served. As a City of Torrance employee I had the opportunity to participate in Leadership Torrance which really did benefit my career, not only by allowing me to more clearly promote the services of WIN, but by building and solidifying connections in the Torrance community that I still have to this day.

2. Where are you in your career and life now?

Currently I am the Economic Development Manager for the City of Torrance working as staff to the City Manager.  Participating in Leadership Torrance helped me build valuable relationships, increase my knowledge, and position me more visibly to be selected to join the City Manager’s team to take the Economic Development program at the City of Torrance to the next level.  The connections, inspiration, and knowledge that I gained allowed me to participate both in my professional as well as in my personal life in various boards, leadership teams, and facilitate the startup of various business groups in the city. 

3. What insight or benefit of Leadership Torrance do you value most?

The biggest benefit of Leadership Torrance is the connections and relationships that are established during the program.  A very special bond develops among participants in the program. Leadership Torrance is very intense and the time spent over a concentrated period of time with the same group of people really allows you to learn from each other as well as share your own message.  It was much more valuable to be able to communicate my services to my LT classmates than simply presenting them in a one-time meeting. Knowledge, trust, and respect is built in that program time period.

Anything else you would like to share?

I couldn’t recommend the program enough. Everyone who is considering participating should not hesitate.  Business owners and managers should send their aspiring leaders within their organizations to participate in the program. The results are so beneficial for the individual, the organization, and the community.

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