Leadership Avery: 10 Month Program Hosted by Chamber of Commerce to Begin in March

Published Monday, February 22, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Who runs Avery County? Who are our leaders – our movers and shakers? What local businesses and organizations are integral to the fabric of everyday life and how do they operate? What resources are available to our citizens? Interested in learning just how Avery County works and in being a more involved part of its current and future leadership? Here is your chance!

This week the Avery County Chamber of Commerce announced the formation of Leadership Avery, a 10-month program developed by Avery County leaders to enlighten participants about county businesses, agencies, organizations, and resources and how they work, both individually and together, to run our county.

The inaugural class will kick off in March with a day of introduction and orientation about the program and its presenters and participants. In April, the focus will be on education, from our public schools to our higher education facilities and more. In May, our area’s many non-profits will be featured. Resorts and our tourism industry will be covered in June. In July, participants will be able to see the inner workings of our healthcare system. Law enforcement, the court system, and county government take the stage for the August class. In September, participants will learn how local media works and then all about our wineries and breweries. The focus in October is, appropriately, our tree farms and our artists and craftspeople. In November, the class wraps up with graduation and certification for Leadership Avery participants who will have a vastly expanded view of just how Avery County works, an excellent knowledge of who to go to for what, and more resources for their own contributions to leadership in our county.

The inaugural 2016 Leadership Avery class is being co-chaired by Avery County Schools Superintendent Dr. David Burleson, and Jeff Davis of High Country Wealth Management. Both Burleson and Davis have participated in leadership programs in other areas of the country and bring their experience to the new Avery County program.

“It is my hope that this program will bring together the leaders in our community, increase their awareness of what goes on behind the scenes in Avery County and will motivate them to become advocates for progress,” Burleson said.

“This type of program positively impacts many counties across the state. I would encourage anyone who is serious about making a meaningful contribution as a community leader to get involved,” Davis added.

Participants must commit to one full day a month in the 10-month program and can miss only one scheduled all-day session. The cost is $300 and, if the participant is an employee of an area business or organization, in most cases the employer or sponsor will pay half of the tuition.

Interested? Classes are limited, so call the Avery County Chamber of Commerce (828-898-5605) immediately for an application form. Criteria for selection include demonstrated leadership skills, active community involvement, and a willingness to invest the time, energy, and commitment required by this Avery Chamber-driven program. Deadline for applications is February 29, 2016.

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