By Misty Herget
Director of Leadership
It was my distinct pleasure recently to welcome 32 dynamic rural leaders into the auditorium at the N.C. General Assembly to celebrate their completion of the Rural Economic Development Institute (REDI). To earn their certificates, participants attended nine days of training over three months. They studied and applied economic and community development strategies, practiced new leadership and team-building skills, identified resources available to their communities, and joined a network of rural leaders to share information and experiences.
Carolyn Justice of Pender County, a REDI alum and former state representative, delivered the commencement address.
The year's class marked the 26th group of leaders to graduate from REDI; the 2016 class was comprised of business owners, elected officials, local and federal government staff and civic and grassroots leaders.
The graduates are now a part of an alumni network of over 1,100 across the state who live in or serve rural N.C. And REDI doesn't end with graduation. The Rural Center works year-round to maintain and nurture the connections and continuous learning opportunities among these rural leaders so they have the resources and tools necessary to continuously improve their communities.
What participants are saying:
“Capacity building in economically distressed rural communities is of utmost importance, and that is what the Rural Economic Development Institute does.”
“The Institute gives you an appreciation of the needs in rural communities and has led me to take an active role in addressing some of those needs in my county.”
“REDI is the best professional development experience I’ve had during my career.”
The Institute has had a profound impact on the lives of many rural North Carolinians. Not only has the class been a transformational experience for individuals but has empowered leaders to influence positive change and transformation in their communities and regions.
REDI continues each year to see a large and highly competitive applicant pool of local elected officials, local, state and federal government staff, nonprofit and faith community leaders, and small business owners.
Applications and information for REDI 2017 will be available on the N.C. Rural Center website in August. Please don’t hesitate to contact Misty Herget at email@example.com or 919-250-4314 for more information.
2016 REDI graduates (county):
Thomas Alphin Lenoir, Eric Andrews Chatham, Cathy Barr Ashe, Dianne Bynum Northampton, Ryan Cody Madison, Jan Critz Rockingham, William Doerfer Hyde, John Edwards Wilson, Shameshia Fennell Wayne, Carolyn Fryberger Orange, Alfred Garshong Wake, Katy Gould Haywood, Billie Hall Bladen, Nathaniel Hall Caswell, Susan Harrison Northampton, Shelisa Howard-Martinez Wake, Kathryn Jenkins Cherokee, Patricia Johnson Edgecombe, Roy Lynch Randolph, Marilynn Marsh-Robinson Wake, Lisa McKeithan Sampson, Lyn Millhiser Wake, William Moore Pitt, Rebecca Moorer Craven, Michelle Oliver Beaufort, Eldridge Paige Jr. Jones, Katherine Parker Halifax, Larry Phillips Surry, Teresa Phillips Rockingham, Noran Sanford Scotland, Annette Taylor Durham, Jonathan Thill Montgomery, Gary Tyson Chatham.