Upcoming EMPOWERMENT@Work Events

Leadership Catawba

August 2022 – March 2023

Since 1974, Leadership Catawba has educated and equipped hundreds of Catawba County residents with information about the social, economic and political dynamics of our community. 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. 

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.  

Meet the Leadership Catawba Class of 2022-2023 here. 

If you would like to be placed on the interest list for the 2023-24 program year, please contact: 
Kim Dahlsten, IOM, CCEC
Director of Leadership Catawba
Vice President of Operations
The Chamber of Catawba County
Email or call (828) 431-7230

Diversity Statement: Leadership Catawba is committed to identifying and nurturing leaders who reflect the diversity represented in our businesses and in the greater community.  We recognize the positive relationship between diversity and a thriving economy and therefore are intentional in our efforts to recruit, grow, and support leaders from diverse ethnic, racial, gender, socioeconomic, and professional backgrounds. We strive for inclusiveness in our programming, class participation, advisory board leadership, and community partnerships and actively seek to include individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds. We encourage business leaders to consider all aspects of diversity when recommending individuals for participation in Leadership Catawba.

Leadership Catawba Quick Facts:

  • Leadership Catawba pulls together thirty-five (35) business and community leaders of diverse backgrounds and experiences who have demonstrated leadership potential throughout our community.
  • The program kicks off in August 2022 with orientation and a team building retreat and concludes in March.2023 with graduation.
  • Each participant graduates with approximately 16 hours of situational leadership training from a diverse array of community leaders and contracted consultants.
  • Leadership Catawba participants receive a full PXT Select Leadership Report and full post analysis. (Value $250)
  • Participants are challenged to organize and execute a group project that directly addresses a critical issue our county is facing aimed at making a sustainable impact.
  • To graduate, attendance at all scheduled events is expected. No more than 12 total hours may be missed in order to complete the program and graduate. 

2022-23 Leadership Catawba Sponsors:

2022-23 Leadership Catawba Advisory Board:

• Alexis Abernathy, First Horizon Bank
• Timothy Adams, Catawba County Schools
• Crystal Barnes, von Drehle Corporation
• James Barnhill, Truist
• Jerrica Broome, Broome Associates, a Legacy Insurance Partner
• Kara Cloninger, Adrian L. Shuford Jr. YMCA
• Greg Copen, Catawba Valley Health System
• Jodi Geis, The Manufacturing Solutions Center at CVCC
• Amanda Haney, Davidson, Holland, Whitesell & Co., PLLC
• Hannah Huffman, Trinity Ridge
• Cynthia Keller, Frye Regional Medical Center
• Jordan Ledford, Council on Adolescents of Catawba County
• Justin Levey, City of Hickory Police Department
• Mary Mitchell, Western Piedmont Council of Governments


Mary Mitchell, Western Piedmont Council of Governments
• Lily Moody, Greater Hickory Christian Cooperative Ministry
• Tracy Moss, Wells Fargo Bank NA
• Chris Murray, Granite Insurance
• Brandon Pope, BPope Productions
• Lauren Price, Kintegra Family Medicine – Hickory
• Scott Punch, Hickory Mechanical, Inc.
• Patrick Richart, CommScope, Inc.
• Robin Ross, Catawba Valley Community College
• Laura Sigmon, The HOPE Center at the Hickory Soup Kitchen
• Candace Tait, Jay Brown, Realtors
• Paxton Tallent, YMCA of Catawba Valley
• Lorissa Vines, Carolina Caring
• Whitney Walker, Shurtape Technologies, LLC
• Regina Waller, First Horizon Bank