The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce announced today that 13 emerging business leaders will graduate from the organization’s inaugural Leadership Academy next month, and that applications are being accepted now for the 2022 class.

According to Executive Director Andy Bruns, the 12-month program is designed to develop a diversified corps of informed, committed and qualified individuals who will assume leadership roles for Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania county organizations to meet the region’s future needs.

“These leaders committed themselves to a monthly schedule of sessions with topics that included economic development, health and human services, government affairs, education, manufacturing, and recreation, tourism and hospitality,” Bruns said. “It was an outstanding opportunity for them to learn from and network with current community leaders with diverse backgrounds and interests.”

The Chamber will recognize the following graduates at a ceremony on Dec. 1 at Napoli at the Lake:

John Broughton, Franklin County

Evan Deyerle, American National Bank

Julia Darling, Savvy Promos

Kelly Drinkard, Perrow Management Group

Dr. Charles Dudley, Advantage Merchant Systems 

Mariel Fowler, Bedford County 

Christine Giglio, Bedford County 911

Shauna Janczuk, Farm Credit of the Virginias

Xan Pilgrim, Berkshire Home Services Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate

Betty Robertson, Carilion Clinic

Madeline Sefcik, Franklin County

Tommie Jo Walker, Smith Mountain Eagle

Ryan Walters, Drifter’s

Bruns said applications are now being accepted for the 2022 Leadership Academy, which will kick off in January. For those selected, the tuition will be $750, which includes orientation, classes, networking mixers and graduation.

To apply, log onto visitsmithmountainlake.com/leadership-academy by the Dec. 12 deadline. For questions or additional information, contact Andy Bruns at 540-721-1203 or abruns@visitsmithmountainlake.com.

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