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Municipal Officials Complete Advanced Leadership Corps 

By Scott Mooneyham, NCLM Director of Public Affairs

A large group of municipal officials completed the latest Advanced Leadership Corps training held at the UNC School of Government this fall. In its fourth year, the week-long program is designed for those local government officials who have completed other requirements of the Local Elected Leaders Academy and are active in their respective local government associations.

In all, 23 local government officials graduated from the course, 12 of them municipal government leaders. The group included two graduates who don’t hold elective office – the two executive directors of the League and the N.C. Association of County Commissioners, Paul Meyer and Kevin Leonard.

Meyer said the participation in the class reflected the dedication of local government officials from around the state.

"Participants in the Advanced Leadership Corps develop skills to lead across party lines and work with others to create a vision for improving North Carolina," Meyer said.

The other municipal graduates in this year’s program were Pilot Mountain Commissioner Gary Bell, Bethel Mayor Gloristine Brown, High Point City Council Member Cynthia Davis, Waxhaw Mayor Stephen Maher, Benson Mayor William Massengill Jr., Winterville Town Council Member Johnny Moye, Washington City Council Member William Pitt, Angier Mayor Lewis Weatherspoon, Lenoir Mayor Pro Tem Ben Willis, Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples, and Landis Mayor Pro Tem Dorland Abernathy.

The program is funded by the League, the N.C. Association of County Commissioners and Prudential. It is in its fourth year and has trained 80 elected officials from 30 municipalities and 27 counties across the state.

Led by School of Government faculty member Vaughn Upshaw and Local Elected Leaders Academy Director Donna Warner, the Advanced Leadership Corps is designed to help elected officials become better listeners, communicators, and collaborators. Municipal and county participants uncover the broader challenges of governing, build personal leadership skills, and learn how to get their messages across. There is also a focus on bringing about positive change in each individual’s region.

Prudential recently provided the UNC School of Government with a $110,000 grant to continue the program, as well as other LELA programs.

"I find it rewarding to see firsthand how initiatives like the School of Government’s Local Elected Leaders Academy benefit North Carolina communities," said Michael McCann, Prudential’s vice president for Key Account Management. "These programs promote effective and strategic leadership among local elected officials throughout the state."