50 Graduates Successfully Complete Delta Leadership Institute

September 11, 2014

Delta Regional Authority challenges regional leaders to stay connected and utilize training to strengthen local and regional communities

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill announced that 50 graduates have successfully completed the 2013-2014 Delta Leadership Institute, a year-long executive training program that brings together business and community leaders from each of the eight states in the Delta Regional Authority footprint for a year-long collaborative leadership development experience, emphasizing regional approaches to strengthening the economy and viability of the Delta region.

Nominated by their respective Governor last November, each graduate received his/her "Certificate in Delta Leadership” September 11, 2014, during a graduation ceremony in the rotunda of the Arkansas State Capitol. Present for the ceremony were former US Secretary of Transportation, Rodney Slater; Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman, Chris Masingill; Gubernatorial Designees to the DRA Board Jim Byard (Alabama), Steve Jones (Arkansas), Bill Stanhouse (Illinois), Chris Champion (Mississippi), Brooxie Carlton (Tennessee), and other leaders and friends.

“As communities and regions across the country and world compete for well-paying jobs and economic opportunity for their citizens, one characteristic distinguishes a community from the rest and that is strong leadership,” DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill said. “The Delta Leadership Institute trains our already accomplished community leaders to work together across boundaries to address economic challenges and to strengthen their communities and the Delta region. I look forward to seeing the impact that these graduates will have moving forward and in working together as part of the Delta Leadership Network.”

The participants spent the past year working through a number of topics important to the growth and prosperity of the Delta, including small business and entrepreneurship development, education and workforce training, public policy and governance, infrastructure, and public health.  As part of the training, participants receive certifications in Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability in addition to recognition by the Delta Regional Authority. Sessions brought the participants together in key communities throughout the Delta region as well as in Washington, D.C.

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership that is congressionally mandated to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives in 252 counties and parishes in the eight states of the Delta region. Through the Rural Communities Advancement Program, the DRA has provided leadership development to more than 350 community leaders over nine years and strengthened regional collaboration with its Delta Leadership Institute. The Delta Leadership Institute is a cooperative effort between the University of Mississippi, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

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Contact: Amanda M. Richardson
501-912-5722, arichardson@dra.gov