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County Officials Provide Updates To SML Regional Chamber Leadership Academy Class

Regional leadership was the theme of the March Leadership Academy class presented by the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The sessions which took place March 2 featured presentations by Chris Whitlow, Administrator for Franklin County, and Robert Hiss, Administrator for Bedford County.

“Chris Whitlow gave an excellent overview of Franklin County, detailing the role of the Board of Supervisors and highlighting information on the county’s budget, population growth, housing and job initiatives, and planning for essential infrastructure such as broadband internet, utilities, transportation and software,” said Cheryl Ward, office administrator for the Chamber.

“The presentation by Robert Hiss was equally as informative and engaging,” Ward said. “He presented an overview on the county’s financial status and an employee snapshot. He also provided the students information on ongoing county projects and challenges the county expects to face in the future.”

Jen Rowland, owner of Rowland Leadership Training & Consulting, facilitated the training. Rowland is leading seven leadership and professional development workshops this year for the class of 18 students.

The Leadership Academy is a 12-month program designed to develop a diversified corps of informed, committed and qualified individuals who will assume leadership roles for Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania county organizations, Ward said.

The SMLRCC Leadership Academy Class of 2022 includes Richard Anglin, Timber Loving Care Tree Service; Joycelyn Bailey, Mariners Landing; Chasity Barbour, Town of Vinton; Kees Craye, Lifestyle & Lake Realty; Alyssa Eads, Mariners Landing; Heather Falls, American National Insurance; Megan Huston, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office; Baylie Kelley, Casago SML; Heather Kesterson, CSA Franklin County; James Little, American National Bank; Tracy McCown, Carilion Clinic; Miranda Mitchell, Drifter’s; Daniel Pinard, Town of Rocky Mount; Brandy Rosser, Franklin County; Eric Schmidt, Franklin County; Justin Sigmon, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office; Rachel Wilbourne, Savvy Promos, Inc.; and Jeff Wood, LeisureMedia360.

For additional information, log onto or contact Cheryl Ward at 540-721-1203 or [email protected].

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