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Leaders Lab of Greater Charlottesville Announces Inaugural Cohort

The Leaders Lab of Greater Charlottesville, a new leadership program that aims to build a “network of doers” for the greater Charlottesville area, launches its inaugural cohort this week.

Current and emerging local leaders will meet monthly for nine months to build their leadership skills and practice collaborative community problem-solving.

Leaders Lab selected 34 individuals representing local businesses, nonprofits and institutions to participate in the first Leaders Lab cohort.

“After a rigorous review process, our selection committee is thrilled to announce an inaugural cohort that reflects our goals of individual excellence as well as diversity of geography, industry, race, gender, age and more,” said Elizabeth Cromwell, President & CEO of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The following individuals will form the Leaders Lab Class of 2023:

Greer Achenbach, Friends of Charlottesville Downtown
Tessa Ashoff, Boys & Girls Club
Esther Bobbin, United by Chocolate
Jesse Brookins, Albemarle County
Richard Alblas, The Daily Progress
Marissa Blair, S&P Global
Alex Bryant, IX Park
Patrick Carroll, Wells Fargo Advisors
Scott Cathcart, Cathcart Group
Nelson Figueroa, UVA Health
Stephanie Carter, CATEC
Teira E. Farley, Community Investment Collaborative
Leroy Grice, MPS
Denise Herndon, University of Virginia
Ann Marie Hohenberger, Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce
Suzanne Lynn, SGL Consulting
Amanda Hester, Woodard Properties
Richard Hunt, Hourigan
Ashley Marshall, City of Charlottesville
Augie Maurelli, University of Virginia
Robert Menasco, Martin Horn
Sonia Montalvo, The Girls Are Alwrite
Brittany Maynard, Hantzmon Wiebel
Sarah Moniz, The Haven
Mercy Plumb, S&P Global
Brittany Resmann, PVCC
Abdi Somo, UVA Health
Kyna Thomas, City of Charlottesville
Sam Sanders, City of Charlottesville
Ambrosia Sullivan, Boars Head Resort
John Townsend, Sun Tribe
Chris Virgilio, Woodard Properties
Terrel White, Center for Nonprofit Excellence
Ben Wilkes, United Way of Greater Charlottesville

Click here to see the Leaders Lab Class of 2023 roster with photos

The Leaders Lab curriculum and program have been crafted by the executive leaders of four local organizations with decades of leadership development expertise: the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, and the Institute for Engagement and Negotiation at the University of Virginia.

Program participants will learn best practices in conflict resolution, multi-party negotiations, cultural competence, meeting facilitation, and many more skills they can put to work immediately in their careers and in the community.

More information about the Leaders Lab program is at

About the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce advocates, convenes and engages to strengthen business in the greater Charlottesville Region. Its simple yet clear vision is a thriving regional economy. The Chamber works to grow and support big ideas that produce meaningful, measurable results for members and nurture a healthy business environment.

Chamber events and programs are supported by our Partners in Trust: University of Virginia, UVA Health, The Daily Progress, Albemarle County Economic Development, albemarle Magazine, Atlantic Union Bank, Hantzmon Wiebel LLP, Innovative Software Solutions, MPS, Northrop Grumman, Ting, United Bank, UVA Community Credit Union, Wells Fargo, Woodard Properties, Advanced Network Systems, Great Eastern Management Company, Hourigan, Lee Construction Group Inc., LUMOS, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, State Farm, Tom Tom Foundation, Allison Partners, F&M Bank, Four Corners Real Estate Solutions, Howard Hanna Roy Wheeler Realty Company, Melvin Burruss Attorney at Law, and Story House Real Estate.

About the Center for Nonprofit Excellence

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) believes we can best strengthen the social impact sector by investing in the people and organizations that build community.   We mentor, train, coach, advocate and partner with our members and community organizations at large so they can be positive, powerful agents for community change.  We help social impact organizations build the foundations of strong leadership, effective governance and skilled, motivated and inspired staff.  With direct engagement with over 710 nonprofit organizations last year alone, and established strong partnerships with regional funders across the state, CNE has built a diverse, progressive, dynamic community of practice.  CNE invests in nonprofits because healthy nonprofits power equitable, thriving, and just communities.

About the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service

The Cooper Center serves localities in the Commonwealth in the context of a complex 21st century in which civic challenges are interconnected and problem-solving requires engaged communities and collaboration across traditional boundaries. In this new context, the Center is reimagining public service to ensure our work is impact-driven and focused on the needs of the diverse communities in Virginia; inclusive of leaders at all levels and of individuals with differing perspectives and from varied backgrounds; and guided always by our values of access, collaboration, commitment to community, and impact.

About the Institute for Engagement & Negotiation

Founded in 1980, the Institute for Engagement & Negotiation (IEN) is a public service organization of the University of Virginia at the School of Architecture. We are recognized nationally for both our depth of experience and breadth of work. We work on most anything that impacts both our natural and built environment – natural resources, public health, community infrastructure, and equity and social issues. The Institute for Engagement & Negotiation is a change-agent with the skills, experience and vision for transforming chaos into order, for helping people navigate daunting challenges toward collaborative solutions.

We work as facilitators and mediators to help communities, agencies, nonprofits and businesses make sustainable decisions through collaborative approaches, in order to sustain communities ecologically, socially and economically.