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Leadership Alumni Network

About the Alumni Network

Alumni of REDI (Rural Economic Development Institute) and Homegrown Leaders are leaders in their respective fields and take a commitment to rural North Carolina seriously and are committed to the success of rural North Carolina. Standing on the shoulders of those who have come before them, REDI and Homegrown Leaders alumni are working hard in their communities and creating pathways to prosperity. The Alumni Network provides a space for graduates of our programs to stay connected and continue the conversation of innovative leadership.

Alumni Database

Below you will find an interactive map of our alumni from the Rural Center’s leadership programs from all 100 counties through Homegrown Leaders and our Rural Economic Development Institute (REDI). Click on the interactive map to view names, counties, and class years for over 1,300 leadership alumni. (To view this map from a mobile device, click here.)



Alumni Network Newsletter

This quarterly alumni newsletter will keep you informed about our leadership development and community engagement programs, alumni events, alumni successes, and other important news and events.

What Have We Been Up To


Innovative Rural Leadership

Innovative Rural Leadership: Paula Swepson-Avery

Innovative Rural Leadership: Paula Swepson-Avery

“I always thought what I thought was right and that everybody thought the same way as me. I’ve learned we can get to ‘right’ all sorts of ways.” — Paula Swepson-Avery Paula Swepson-Avery had spent decades working for Broyhill Furniture in McDowell and Caldwell...

Presenting Sponsor


Jordan Lumber is a family company that is 82 years young. Our company was founded in 1939 by RB Jordan, Jr. We now have 4th generation family members active in our companies. We have been named the third largest independent lumber producer in the Southeastern United States by Timber Mart South. We are FSC certified on all of our lands and at 4 forest products facilities. We practice complete sustainable forestry and have a timberlands base of over 70,000+ acres, most within a 50 mile radius. We have planted over 19 million trees over the past 20 years. We manufacture a very diverse product mix. Our products include high quality dimensional products, pallet parts, fencing parts and moulded products.

Want to learn more?

Angella Dunston
Network Engagement Manager

Emily Holder
Program Manager for Leadership Training