• Laurel Contributor

Leadership Cashiers

by Stephanie Edwards

Leadership Cashiers trains local citizens to help shape a bright future for the entire community.

Leadership Cashiers recently launched its inaugural program as a new community engagement initiative of the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce. The class 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 studying issues affecting the area and by building strong working relationships for enlightened, dynamic leadership. Class members are current community stakeholders with demonstrated elements of civic involvement and commitment in the Cashiers Area.

Participants include David Billingsley of United Community Bank, Margaret Carton of Friends of Panthertown, Hai-yang Chen of Western Carolina University, Brent Eason of Zoller Hardware, Brad Herman of High Hampton Resort, Brent Metcalf of Christ Church of the Valley, Cheryl Moss and Pat Morse of Western Carolina University, Eli Ramirez of the Cashiers Area Chamber, Emily Reback of Western Carolina University, Andrew Renfro of Lonesome Valley, Serenity Richards of the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library, James Stewart-Payne of the Library and Summit Charter School, and Thomas Taulbee of Highlands-Cashiers Board of Realtors.

“The Leadership Cashiers program was designed to build a ‘cadre of area leaders with the necessary tools and connectivity for making a meaningful positive impact on our community as well as insight on our future challenges,’” explained Irv Welling of Program Sponsor Vision Cashiers (formerly The Village Conservancy).

Session Sponsors providing financial support for the Leadership Cashiers 2019 class include Coward, Hicks & Siler, Entegra Bank, Harris Custom Homes, High Hampton Resort, Eric Moody CPA, United Community Bank, Western Carolina University, Zoller Hardware and scholarship funding provided by Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley. Angela Owen of Truventure Enterprises serves as Program Director. She is also executive director of Vision Transylvania, a similar program in Brevard.

Participants attend monthly sessions February through September on Economic Development, Government, Planning & Infrastructure, Education, and Health & Human Services. Personal leadership skills also will be developed through academic and team-building exercises. A Principle-Based Decision Making process has been introduced and a development case study will be reviewed from various constituent perspectives.

For more information, visit LeadershipCashiers.org, email info@LeadershipCashiers.org or call (828) 743-5191.

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