Eight Programs Selected for UGA Leadership Initiative

Charlie Bauder

Tuesday, July 18th, 2023

The University of Georgia will provide support to eight programs around the state through the fourth year of an annual leadership initiative.

This week, the UGA J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development announced the eight recipients of the 2023 Innovations in Community Leadership Initiative.

Launched in 2020 by the UGA Fanning Institute, the Innovations in Community Leadership Initiative provides technical expertise and resources to support communities and organizations in starting or enhancing leadership development programming.

This year’s recipients are:

“We currently do not have a leadership program to equip emerging leaders from any walk of life with the resources they need to be effective community leaders,” said Melissa Dark, president and CEO of the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Chamber of Commerce. “With UGA’s help, we envision each class of Fitz Leads including a diverse group of emerging leaders with a shared desire to build a brighter community that could become a model for other rural communities.”

In its first three years, the UGA Fanning Institute has worked with 21 organizations across 23 counties through the Innovations in Community Leadership Initiative to both develop and revitalize community-based leadership programs for all ages and help nonprofit organizations develop leadership programming for staff and clientele.

Recipients of the Innovations in Community Leadership Initiative are expected to develop and implement a sustainable, multi-year leadership development program utilizing the tools and resources supplied by UGA Fanning Institute faculty and staff.

“Encouraging and preparing current and future leaders of all ages to engage meaningfully in their communities is vital to a community’s success,” said Matt Bishop, director of the UGA Fanning Institute. “This year’s recipients demonstrate a commitment to that belief and a plan to expand leadership development within their community’s framework. We look forward to supporting those efforts.”

Final program planning on this year’s projects is currently underway and work on this year’s projects will begin starting this fall.

The UGA Fanning Institute will begin accepting applications for the next round of the Innovations in Community Leadership Initiative in early 2024.

For more information on the UGA Fanning Institute’s Innovations in Community Leadership Initiative, click here.