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Leaders Lab Announces New Cohort to Train for Cross-Sector Collaboration

Leaders Lab logo with partners

This week, the Leaders Lab of Greater Charlottesville begins its second year training local leaders in collaborative community problem-solving.

“Collaboration is vital for success, not only in the workplace, but across all areas of our lives and communities,” said Natalie Masri, President & CEO of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Leaders Lab participants will bring crucial new skills, perspectives and knowledge to their work going forward.”

Thirty-five individuals will meet monthly for nine months to build their leadership skills, learn about local issues, and practice cross-sector collaboration in a diverse group representing local businesses, nonprofits and institutions.

The following individuals will form the Leaders Lab Class of 2024:

Amanda Dettey Audette, The Miller School of Albemarle
Sandra Aviles, Charlottesville United for Public Education
Emily Beichel, Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA
Nick Bode, MPS
Andy Bowman, County of Albemarle
Nancy Brill, MPS
Courtney J. Brown, City of Charlottesville and Eudamonia LLC
Amy Cesak, UVA Health
Ingrid Chalita, Albemarle County Public Schools & MACAA
Ann Criser-Shedd, University of Virginia
Adrienne Dent, Artist & Collaborator
Katharine DiResta, University of Virginia
Rebecca Ellison, VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment
Wendy D. Ferguson, JGF Limited
Heidi Gilman Bennett, ACPS Family Council
Shira Goldeen, Central VA SBDC
Jesse Gutt, Hourigan
Gheretta Harris, University of Virginia
Dawn Heneberry, Cary Street Partners
Jason N. Itri, Studio R Aesthetics
Coles Jennings, Community Climate Collaborative (C3)
Walter Johnson, The Hogan Group
Khalilah Jones, Chic & Classy Image Consulting
Matt Laird, Atlantic Union Bank
Karin Little, Self - Employed
Jackie Martin, UVA Health
Whitmore Merrick, City of Charlottesville
Alexander Morrison, Albemarle County Service Authority
William Nichols, Self - Employed
Fay Paurillo, Hantzmon Wiebel
Denisha Phipps, Center for Nonprofit Excellence
Amy Schmidt-Morris, UVA Health
Sarah Sweet, The Scrappy Elephant
Novella W. Thompson, UVA Health
Jennifer Whitaker, Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority

Click here for the Leaders Lab Class of 2024 Roster with photos.

“I’m excited to meet the cohort and see their growth in the coming months,” said Leaders Lab Manager Heidi Billington, who joined the program in August 2023. “Building on the success of last year’s pilot, we look forward to seeing a positive impact for both the cohort and the community.”

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.

Hourigan and York Property are in-kind supporters of Leaders Lab.