Leadership Cashiers is now accepting applications conveniently at LeadershipCashiers.org, for the 2020 course schedule. The program, a community engagement initiative of the Cashiers Area Chamber, graduated 13 participants in the inaugural class in September 2019.
“Leadership Cashiers’ mission is to inform, connect, and engage leaders by looking intensively at the issues affecting our area, and by building strong working relationships to prepare and motivate participants to provide enlightened, dynamic leadership,” said Chamber Executive Director, Stephanie Edwards. “A thoughtful, diverse group of individuals participated in the inaugural program this year and we look forward to engaging another outstanding class from our local communities,” she added.
The program was begun by a local task force dedicated to bringing a leadership program to Cashiers modeled after similar initiatives across the country. The program is facilitated by a contracted director and is funded by local sponsorships, donations, and tuition. The recent graduating class, as part of their class project, established the Leadership Cashiers Alumni Network to further support and sustain the program.
“Leadership Cashiers was a wonderful experience letting me interact meaningfully with people, officials, and volunteers from the Cashiers area,” said Serenity Richards, a 2019 program graduate, and Branch Librarian at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library who now serves on the program task force. “It has built relationships that are beneficial, fruitful, and rewarding.” 2019 class graduates include; David Billingsley of United Community Bank, Maggie Carton of the Friends of Panthertown Valley, Dr. Hai-yang Chen, Dean of College of Business at Western Carolina University, Brent Eason of Zoller Hardware, Brad Herman of High Hampton Resort, Brent Metcalf of Christ Church of the Valley, Dr. Pat Morse, Department Head of Social Work at Western Carolina University, Eli Ramirez of the Cashiers Area Chamber, Emily Reback, Director of Development at Western Carolina University, Andrew Renfro of Lonesome Valley, James Stewart-Payne of the community library and Summit Charter School and Thomas Taulbee of Highlands-Cashiers Board of Realtors.
2020 sessions are slated to focus on Economic Development, Government, Education, Planning & Infrastructure, Arts & Culture, and Health & Human Services.“We owe the success of the program to our sponsors,” said Edwards, “support is a direct investment in our communities and ensures that no qualified individuals miss the opportunity because of financial need.” 2019 support includes Program Sponsors; Cashiers Area Chamber, and Vision Cashiers, Session Sponsors; Coward Hicks & Siler, Entegra Bank, Eric T. Moody, CPA, PA, Harris Custom Builders, High Hampton Resort, United Community Bank, Western Carolina University and Zoller Hardware plus Scholarship Sponsor; Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley. The Cashiers Area Chamber and Vision Cashiers have committed as 2020 Program Sponsors and Harris Custom Builders will return as a Session Sponsor. Sponsorship and donation information can be found on www.LeadershipCashiers.org.
Applications will be available online now through the beginning of January when participants will be notified directly of their acceptance to the program scheduled to begin February 2020. Schedule, session and tuition information are available along with application and sponsorship process on www.LeadershipCashiers.org. Contact the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce at 828-743-5191 with questions.