CASHIERS/May 7-8, 2021 – The third annual Leadership Cashiers Class of 2021class recently launched its seven-month program with an opening retreat at The Country Club of Sapphire Valley. The Cashiers Area Chamber’s community engagement initiative is based on a development model used by many cities across the country to prepare and motivate participants to offer quality community leadership.
The program’s mission is to inform, connect and engage individuals by intensively studying issues affecting the area and by building strong working relationships with government officials, community stakeholders and leaders, and colleagues for enlightened, dynamic leadership.
2021 Leadership Class participants are: Stanley Baldwin Odum of Fishes & Loaves, Anthony “Shane” Brooks of Laurelwood Inn, Susan Heatley of Simply Cashiers, Timothy Heatley of Simply Cashiers, Henry “Hank” Hodge of First Citizens Bank, Brian Holland of Zollers Hardware, Barbara Jamison of Barbara Jamison Paintings, Bambi Famous Kaine of Silver Creek Real Estate Group, Jill Katz of Crossroads Custard & Cold Brew, Kristina Newsom of Specialties Plus of NC, Judy Patterson of High Hampton, Elizabeth “Beth” Preston Community Member, Merrell Thompson of Merrell Thompson Photography, Ellen Tucker Community Member, and Robin Walker of Camp Merrie-Woode.
“The Leadership Cashiers program was designed to build a cadre of area leaders with the necessary tools and connectivity for making a meaningful impact in our community,” explained Stephanie Edwards, Executive Director of the Cashiers Area Chamber, which serves as a Program Sponsor, providing substantial financial and management support as one of its priority Community Engagement initiatives. Irv Welling who serves as chair of Program Sponsor Vision Cashiers, also serves on the Leadership Cashiers Task Force. Others include Maggie Carton, Abby Powell, Andrew Renfro, Serenity Richards and Thomas Taulbee.
Session Sponsors providing generous ongoing financial support include Balsamwest, Dillard-Jones, Eric T. Moody CPA, First Citizens Bank, High Hampton, Southwestern Community College, The Country Club of Sapphire Valley, United Community Bank, Western Carolina University, and Zoller Hardware. Scholarship funding has been committed by Appalachian Golf Cars, Leadership Cashiers Alumni Network, and Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley.
The 15 class members will attend regular sessions held monthly starting in June and running through a December graduation, with subject matter experts on Economic Development, Natural & Cultural Resources, Planning & Infrastructure, Government, Education, and Health & Wellbeing. Personal leadership skills also will be developed through principle-based decision making and teambuilding exercises. Angela Owen of Truventure Enterprises serves as Program Director. She is also executive director and course instructor of Vision Transylvania, a similar program in Brevard, NC.