Graduate Perspectives

Leadership Skill Development

“An exceptional program that, regardless of your current title and position, will elevate your leadership skills to new heights.” Corey Clayborne, Wiley Wilson

“It has helped me to realize that I have a lot of room to grow to help me realize the full potential I have to become an effective leader. Believe in myself, work hard, rely on others, and always give a little more to make the community a better place.” Bob Conlon, Employee Assistance of Central VA

“Thank you for all of the lessons that I have learned.  I feel that if it were not for Leadership Lynchburg, I would not have been promoted to Head of Supervision for my facility last week.”   Timothy Birchfield, StarTek

“I’ve been leading a project team that involves several departments whose cooperation with one another is sometimes awkward. I used a number of suggestions and techniques from the book and speakers that helped me to increase the effectiveness of this group.” Peggy Read, RR Donnelley

“Leadership Lynchburg has been extremely valuable to me as an individual and as a leader within my organization. The networking and team projects were by far the most beneficial. I have gained so much and I would highly recommend this program to anyone.” Sharon Martin, Old Dominion University-Central Virginia

“By completing and having my coworkers complete my leadership inventory, I am now aware that I don’t often challenge the process. So, in meetings, projects, or simply in day-to-day activities, I always make an effort to ask “Why do we do it this way?” “Is there a better way?” and “Has this option been tried before and if so, how did it work?” This has helped me to think outside the box, challenge the status quo, and challenge myself as a leader.” Allison Wingfield, Rush Homes

“It is very rewarding to get involved and make a difference. I learned what it takes to be a leader and walked away with a clear understanding of what I do well and where I can continue development.” William Allen, Virginia A&E

“Leadership Lynchburg provided me the opportunity to see myself as others see me. My perception may not always be reality. I have learned the value of feedback and teamwork.” Joe Brandt, AMG

“During the adventure course I had it poignantly brought to my mind how I tend to keep doing something that isn’t working without asking for advice or help. Perhaps it is pride, determination, stubbornness, or independence that triggers this need to “do it myself. Having learned this valuable lesson about myself I now try to reach out for assistance before I continue to spin my wheels in an unproductive manner. It’s hard to make these changes over night, but at least I am aware of that tendency.” Shane Smith, Tyco Electronics


“I am more aware of my communication style and how others may perceive the message I am communicating.” Andrea Patillo, Nationwide Insurance

“Working with staff, I feel that I have developed better listening skills. Issues are easier to deal with now that I respond rather than react.” Stacy Garrett, Miller Home of Lynchburg

“Be here now is one thing that stuck out. Another thing is to work more on the balance between family and work. Also, ease up on e-mails and have more face-to-face meetings and do hand written notes every once in a while. It means more.” Gary Booth, Southern Air, Inc.

Life Change

“There are a few events in one’s life, which leave a lasting impression and make a difference in one’s outlook – Leadership Lynchburg is such an event.” Mike Griffin, Calloway Johnson Moore & West, P.A.

“This is a program where you get out what you put in, multiplied many times over. There is definitely something for everyone.” Peggy Read, RR Donnelley

Networking & Developing New Contacts

“Leadership Lynchburg provided me with an opportunity to network with some really great people, and to learn something about leadership as well. The friendships I have gained will last a lifetime.” Gary Raulerson, Innovative Wireless Technologies

“It was an honor to rub shoulders with the fine professionals I met among my classmates, guest speakers, and alumni. The adventure course was a life- changing event for me. I’ll never forget the exhilaration of taking the leap of faith.” Coralee Tuck, Campbell County Public Library

Overall Benefits

“For me personally, the alignment of personal and professional goals, the networking, the leadership development increase, and overall difference it made for me was huge. Before participating in this program, my skill sets were fragmented as they pertained to my overall effectiveness in leading people. I believe they improved drastically and will continue to improve as a result of the program. THANK YOU!!” Randall Proffitt, AMG

“LL36 was an incredible journey into myself, into discovering my leadership style, and into discovering the value and power of a team.” Joe Hepler, David James Homes

“This is an excellent program for individuals beginning their leadership journey or are new to the area. It has a great reputation and is very well organized and is well connected to the business community.” Lynda-Sue Napier, Presbyterian Homes & Family Services, Inc.

“In my opinion, the structure of Leadership Lynchburg is set up to provide a safe, effective, and fun learning environment. It allows participants to grow in their personal as well as professional lives through the high ropes course, working closely with a diverse group of people, and networking with leaders in our local community. I have learned about myself, about leadership, and about this community. I highly recommend this program to anyone who is willing to face the challenge of looking at oneself and growing in knowledge, confidence, and ability.” Karen Ackerman, J Crew

Managing Multiple Priorities

“Time management. I have learned to let go of some minor responsibilities and to prioritize my tasks.” Brenda Dixon, Home Instead Senior Care

“What I learned was how to more effectively delegate, how to better prioritize work, how to ask for help when needed and solicit feedback from peers to become more effective.” Cheryl Skeens, Nationwide Insurance

Community Knowledge

“Leadership Lynchburg introduced me to a community that, although I had grown up in, I realized had not fully known. The connections and friendships I made in LL have continued well past the end of the program and were a valuable contribution to my own professional development.”  John Hall, BB & T

“Leadership Lynchburg has provided me with an opportunity to become better acquainted with the Lynchburg community and with myself. I am now more aware of my niche in this area and how I can use my innate and acquired leadership skills to improve my community and extend my role and presence here.” Allison Wingfield, Rush Homes

“Leadership Lynchburg helped me connect with the city — its communities of work, play, and service — in a way that increases my likelihood of me staying and trying to be a positive force in the city’s political, economic and community advancement.” Joe Hepler, David James Homes

“This program has opened my eyes to the impact I can make in the Lynchburg community. It’s more than information-sharing, it’s a challenge to become an active participant in the sustainability and growth of Lynchburg.” Claudia Pollard, Bank of the James – Forest


“Leadership Lynchburg helped me grow in life. Professionally, the program taught me the value of exceptional teamwork and how to cultivate that environment. Personally, LL has introduced me to new friends that I’m sure I will have for many years to come. It was challenging and difficult at times, but a fabulous program and experience.” Gary Raulerson, Innovative Wireless Technologies