Local employees graduate from Leadership Development Program

Published 5:28 pm Friday, June 10, 2022

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RALEIGH – Several local employees recently graduated from the NC Rural Center’s Homegrown Leaders program, a three-day regional leadership and economic development program that develops and supports highly-motivated leaders who are committed to building regional collaboration across multi-county regions in the state.

Homegrown Leaders has previously served Western North Carolina and since 2020, the leadership and economic development training program has been covering a 42-county region in Eastern North Carolina.

Local graduates of the Leadership Development Program are, from left, Angie Jenkins (Regional Impact Manager, myFutureNC), Brittany Pierce (Director of Nursing, Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center), Derrick Armstead (Director, Small Business Center, Roanoke-Chowan Community College), Ashley Stoop (Director of Policy & Planning, Albemarle Regional Health Services), Ikisha Brothers (Program Coordinator, Eastern Area Health Education Center). Contributed Photo

The fourth training of the series, held in Elizabeth City from May 24-26, attracted existing and emerging leaders from a 10-county region.

The local graduates included Angie Jenkins, with myFutureNC, Brittany Pierce, with the Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, Derrick Armstead with Roanoke-Chowan Community College, Ashley Stoop, with Albemarle Regional Health Services and Ikisha Brothers, with the Eastern Area Health Education Center.

“Our Homegrown Leaders curriculum showcases the critical importance of innovation in leadership development and regional collaboration,” said Rural Center Senior Director of Leadership and Engagement, Bronwyn Lucas. “It is vital to lift up our rural leaders and the critical work they do to enhance their communities.”

Graduation certificates were presented to the program’s 24 participants upon completion of the training.

“Leadership development is at the core of the Rural Center’s work, and now more than ever it is important that our leaders are equipped with the skills and tools to foster growth and innovation,” said Rural Center President Patrick Woodie. “We’re excited to see the impact our Homegrown Leaders graduates will have in their communities and regions to create a thriving future for generations of residents.”

Class participants included economic development and health professionals, educators, and civic and nonprofit leaders.

“Homegrown Leaders creates a space for rural leaders to train alongside their peers from across their region, building and strengthening partnerships that reach across county lines and work toward a common vision of a thriving rural North Carolina,” said Lucas. “We are thrilled these talented graduates will now be joining the Rural Center’s leadership alumni network of more than 1,400 rural leaders across the state.”

The Homegrown Leaders training series in Eastern North Carolina are funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Anonymous Trust, the North Carolina Community Foundation, Smithfield Foods, the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, and First National Bank. For more information about Homegrown Leaders, visit the Rural Center’s website https://www.ncruralcenter.org/leadership/.