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SML Chamber Leadership Academy Focuses on History / Culture in Region

 History and culture in the Smith Mountain Lake region was the focus of the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce’s February Leadership Academy class.

The session took place Feb. 1 at the Bedford Area Welcome Center and featured multiple speakers.

“It was an outstanding afternoon listening to local leaders impress upon the class the importance of building foundational leadership traits,” said Andy Bruns, executive director of the Chamber. 

Amanda Cox, External Affairs Manager for AEP, shared information on the history of the Smith Mountain Project, which was created in the 1960s for the purpose of creating hydroelectricity for the region. 

Sheridan Brown, a member of the Friends of Booker T. Washington National Monument Board of Directors, provided a snapshot of cultural opportunities at Smith Mountain Lake. 

Finally, Chasity Barbour, Community Programs Director for the Town of Vinton and a 2022 Leadership Academy graduate, shared details on what she learned last year about building community connections. 

The SMLRCC 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. 

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

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