2021-22 Leadership Catawba Graduation

On Thursday, March 10, 2022, we recognized the achievements of 2021-22 Leadership Catawba at a Graduation Celebration. Leadership Catawba is The Chamber of Catawba County’s longest running program-creating a pipeline of community leaders for 47 years! 

Over the 8 month duration, participants are immersed in community issues and challenges that we position ourselves to directly address in the areas of Reinventing Community, Telling Our Story, Serving our Community, Building for Jobs, Workforce Connectivity, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The program challenges each participant not only to be an effective and influential leader within their own organization, but to lead within our greater community through personal commitment and involvement. 

Lori Alala, Partner with Broome Associates, a Legacy Insurance Partner, and the 2022 Chair of the Board of Directors, greeted attendees and recognized  our sponsors, Leadership Catawba Advocates, and supervisors, mentors, and special guests of the graduates.

Chris Murray, Business Risk Consultant with Granite Insurance Agency, and Laura Sigmon, HOPE Center Program Director at the Hickory Soup Kitchen, were nominated by their fellow class members to share remarks about their Leadership Catawba story and experience. Laura left the attendees with great advice to ponder. 

"With knowledge comes great empowerment." -Laura Sigmon

At the conclusion of her speech, Laura presented a special gift on behalf of the cohort to Kim Dahlsten, Vice President of Operations and Director of Leadership Catawba, for her commitment and dedication Leadership Catawba. Alongside the 2021-22 Leadership Catawba Advisory Board, The Chamber helped create over 60 hours of impactful content which included over 145 community partners, thought leaders and subject matter experts through this year’s program.

An important part of the Leadership Catawba process is the completion of a group project. Lindsay Keisler, President & CEO of The Chamber of Catawba County, discussed what the group projects were designed to accomplish and thanked the Project Advisors, who are subject matter experts who work daily, as a Chamber collaborative partner, to address project issues within their own professional work. Each project team had an  presented the work they’ve accomplished over the last couple months. Topics included: Employee Transportation, Non-Profit Organizations & Volunteers, Giving Back to Our Community, Retaining and Attracting Young Professionals, and the Transition from College life to Career Life. 

Presentation of graduate certificates and closing remarks by Kim Dahlsten concluded the event.

Congratulations to our Class of 2021-22 Leadership Catawba Graduates
Alexis Abernathy, First Horizon Bank
Tracey Bolick, Catawba Valley Health System
Riley Bollinger, Catawba Valley Insurance Agency
Jerrica Broome, Broome Associates, a Legacy Insurance Agency
Angela Carson, City of Hickory Parks, Recreation and Sports Tourism
Ken Colf, City of Conover
Whitney Cooke, Frye Regional Medical Center
Robin Cornett, Catawba Valley Community College
Ben Eggers, Design Foundry, LLC
Jodi Geis, The Manufacturing Solutions Center at CVCC
Russell Gentry, Catawba County Schools
Becky Harris, HSM Solutions
Rachel Heck, YMCA of Catawba Valley
Jordan Ledford, Council on Adolescents of Catawba County, Inc.
Shica Long, Vanguard Furniture, Inc.
Lydia Locascio, Time Genies
Casey McCall , City of Hickory Police Department
Sebastian Maik, Target Distribution Center
Mary Mitchell, Western Piedmont Council of Governments        
Travis Morgan, Skyline National Bank
Brandon Pope, BPope Productions
Chris Murray, Granite Insurance Agency
Taryn  Reep, Carolina Caring
Tim Reynolds, Davidson, Holland, Whitesell & Co., PLLC, CPAs
Johnathan Rosales, City of Hickory
Sarah Sakatos, Catawba County Partnership for Children
Ashley Salinas, Hickory Crawdads Baseball, Inc.
Laura Sigmon, The HOPE Center at Hickory Soup Kitchen
Sarah Walker, Lenoir-Rhyne University
Whitney Walker, Shurtape Technologies, LLC     
Kim Wallace, Wallace Printing, Inc.

2021-22 Leadership Catawba Sponsors:
Legacy Leadership Sponsor: Shurtape Technologies, LLC
Business Leadership Sponsors: Catawba Valley Health System, CommScope, Inc., Corning Optical Communications LLC, Frye Regional Medical Center, HSM Solutions, NextEra Energy Resources   
Community Leadership Sponsors: Alex Lee, Inc., Catawba County, City of Hickory, Lenoir-Rhyne University
Mission Sponsor: Graystone Eye

Online applications will open on May 16 for the 2022-23 Leadership Catawba cohort. Program inquiries and questions may be directed to Kim Dahlsten, Director of Leadership Catawba and Vice President of Operations for The Chamber of Catawba County. 

To see more photos from this event, click 
here. Thank you Pat Appleson Studios, Inc. for providing photo coverage of our event.

Miss the Graduation? View our livestream replay here:

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