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What participants are saying

"I continue to be impressed by the consistent message we receive from participants in LEAD VIRGINIA: that immersion in our program is making a difference in their careers or leadership paths, whether as community leaders or leaders in business, government or other fields. Now in our 9th year with an alumni base of over 400, LEAD VIRGINIA has proven that it is the only repository that leaders, scattered across the Commonwealth, can trust to provide an in-depth understanding of issues that transcend any one experience, profession or region. And by sharing different perspectives and backgrounds, participants gain a broader perspective that better serves them in the leadership roles they play in the Commonwealth."

— The Honorable Whitt Clement, LEAD VIRGINIA Board Chair
Partner, Hunton & Williams

"LEAD VIRGINIA connected me with the Commonwealth giving me an in-depth knowledge of our resources and challenges. An amazing opportunity to meet so many great people all giving to make our state the amazing place it is. There is no other place all of this comes together like LEAD VIRGINIA. My association with LEAD VIRGINIA has allowed me to grow my business and serve in several local and statewide opportunities."

— Jeff Wassmer, Class of 2005
Chairman/CEO, Spectrum

"LEAD VIRGINIA provides participants with the chance to develop a broader perspective about the challenges and opportunities facing every community in the Commonwealth. More than that, LEAD VIRGINIA helps participants develop the social capital to address those issues by working together across geographic and political boundaries. I believe that I developed greater effectiveness in my work because of the relationships and perspective I developed as a member of the LEAD VIRGINIA Class of 2006!"

— Dr. John Downey, Class of 2006
President, Blue Ridge Community College

"Few, if any, leadership development programs can match the positive impact that LEAD VIRGINIA has on its participants. Blending social capital with an insider's look into the unique regions of our Commonwealth is what helps to set this program apart and creates one of the strongest alumni networks I've ever seen. Even though I have lived here for years, LEAD VIRGINIA helped to broaden my aperture and afforded me a firsthand look into the rich history, incredible innovation, and colorful spirit that combine to make Virginia's future so bright."

— Matt McQueen, Class of 2011
Sector Director, Strategic & External Communications, Northrop Grumman

"LEAD VIRGINIA has enlightened me to the diversity of our citizens and resources as well as the opportunities and challenges facing the Commonwealth in achieving even greater success. LEAD VIRGINIA motivated me to start taking responsibility for making the connections and contributions necessary to fulfill my personal commitment to making a difference in Virginia. This has included my engagement in driving the success of my company's corporate social responsibility as well as my own personal focus on our communities. I have always cared about Virginia, but LEAD VIRGINIA showed me how I could make a meaningful difference."

— Adrian Chapman, Class of 2006
President & COO, Washington Gas

"It doesn't matter whether you are interested in maintaining Virginia's status as the Best State for Doing Business, whether you are concerned about the impact of economic downturn or if you are just passionate about Virginia's overall quality of life, you want to be involved in LEAD VIRGINIA. LEAD VIRGINIA is where you will find timely discussions, valuable insights and lessons learned on the top issues of today such as transportation, health care, education and economic development. And, all of the right people are gathered in the right places throughout the commonwealth to discuss the right paths to real solutions. If you're wondering where area and regional leaders, game changers and other key business, political, nonprofit and community stakeholders meet, it's LEAD VIRGINIA. As a past chairman of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, an entrepreneur and an alumnus of LEAD VIRGINIA, I can assure you that the LEAD VIRGINIA experience will pay dividends - time and time again."

— Julien Patterson, Class of 2005
Chairman, OMNIPLEX World Services Corporation

"Community, to me, is about ensuring that everyone has a rich and full life — a 'best life.' Whether it's our neighborhood, our region or our state, we all have a role to serve in building social capital and using it in our community to provide a best life for all. The first step is understanding the challenges and impediments that we all face in achieving a rich and full life. The LEAD VIRGINIA experience provides that foundation of understanding, builds social capital and provokes the dialogue that is the catalyst for action."

— Rhonda S. VanLowe, Class of 2008
Legal counsel, Rolls-Royce North America

"Participating in LEAD VIRGINIA's program is an excellent way to learn about critical issues facing the commonwealth and to engage with leaders in developing solutions. I highly recommend the experience to community leaders seeking to broaden their understanding of what is happening in Virginia."

— Charlie Agee, Class of 2005
Director of Corporate Contributions, Altria Client Services

"This program connects leaders from a wide array of disciplines in such a way that they can better leverage resources to tackle difficult problems facing the commonwealth. Through my participation, I was able to step outside of my established health care niche and learn from industry leaders in energy, commerce, economic development, transportation and education, and consider our common challenges and opportunities. Through these interactions, I developed a cadre of professionals that I can rely on to provide a fresh perspective on my future endeavors — as well as a number of friends that inspire me through their work. It is a learning experience that doesn't end when the coursework does."

— Beth Bortz, Class of 2007
President & CEO, Virginia Center for Health Innovation

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