Chamber Chat - Leadership Sanford

Aug 20

By Meg Moss


On Tuesday, August 29th, the Sanford Area Growth Alliance Chamber of Commerce will hold its Leadership Sanford Reunion and Welcome Reception at Venue 121 in downtown. The Leadership Sanford class is a nine-month program that gives participants an in-depth look at a range of topics of community interest and importance by experts and community leaders. Topics are designed to provide both personal development and community enrichment. The class meets one full day per month for nine months.

Each year, leaders and influencers in our business community are selected to participate in Leadership Sanford. These individuals then come together for a group learning experience about “all things Sanford”. Class participants are provided opportunities to hear presentations, meet with elected state, county, city and school officials, participate in leadership development activities, learn about the non-profit agencies in Lee County, and engage in relationship building with the other community leaders in the class.

The class begins each year with an in-depth look at the history of Lee County. In addition to presentations from county and city leaders, the class tours the Lee County courthouse and jail, and the Big Buffalo Waste Water Treatment Plant. The Lee County School system presentation includs a tour of the high school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lab, and a presentation on the Leader In Me program, conducted by local elementary school students.

An overview of economic development at the local, regional and state levels teach us that economic development is regional in nature, and that a “win” for a neighboring county can be an economic win for us as well. We are competing against other regions, states, and countries when it comes to where a new industry will locate. This overview is accompanied by a visit with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

The class also tours the state capital and legislative buildings, visits with state elected officials, participates in a business etiquette class, and takes an overnight retreat to New Bern, NC, to learn about their Visitor’s Services, Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development.  Time is spent with Central Carolina Community College leadership, and a tour of the Caterpillar plant is an excellent opportunity to see the world class manufacturing facilities we have right here in Lee County.

Are you interested in improving your leadership skills, understanding how things get done in Sanford, and meeting with local and regional leaders? The Chamber of Commerce Leadership Sanford Class will provide you with all of those opportunities. 

Tim Sloan, our County Commissioner, had to say about the class: "As a multi-generational Lee county resident, I was unaware of how much information I had never been exposed to until attending the Leadership Sanford Class. By participating in the Leadership Sanford Class (hosted by the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce), I have been afforded opportunities that I would have never pursued without participating in this program… which… in many ways prepared me for additional leadership opportunities in public service. I would highly recommend this as a development opportunity for any local citizen that wishes to give back to their community."

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017-2018 Leadership Sanford class, which will begin in September. Visit our website at to apply, or as always, contact me with any questions at 919-775-7341 x1502.

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