MCLI Graduates Right before US Open

For Immediate Release
June 5, 2024
Jana Walding, Director of Operations
35th Class of Moore County Leadership Institute Graduates
SOUTHERN PINES, NC – The Moore County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 35th graduating class of the Moore County Leadership Institute (MCLI). This is an exclusive leadership program hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and has graduated over 640 participants since inception.

MCLI provides participants the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally via education and connection to various community leaders and partners.  Participants learn about civic leadership, business challenges, governance and community involvement as well as receive targeted leadership development training. Ultimately, these individuals are well rounded, capable leaders with a deeper understanding of civic responsibility. Upon graduation, they are encouraged to serve in the community in a volunteer capacity and to inspire others in their respective workplaces by being transformational leaders. 

Each class is required to complete a community project as a culmination of their program. This year, Moore County Schools was the recipient of a $10,000 donation to cover a portion of the $24,000 school lunch deficit for the 2023-2024 fiscal year. FirstHealth stepped up when the class asked for support. Matt Prestwood said, “We strive to help those who needed it most. Our high school seniors miss vital opportunities in their senior year if they have an unpaid school lunch deficit and we didn’t want anyone to miss prom or graduation due to unpaid fees. When asked how much, Jonathon Davis with FirstHealth of the Carolinas said done!” The school district worked with the class to identify 800 students who would likely be unable to cover their deficits and their fees were covered under the donation. “Diversity in our community is deep, however we learned that most people’s issues can be easily solved by working together.” Stated Chris Urie, with Pinehurst Medical Clinic.
The 35th Graduating Class Includes:
Morgan Wesley, Executive Sous Chef, Pinehurst Resort
Robert Hinsley , Veteran, Donovan & Bank Foundation
Aaron Bush, Veteran, Donovan & Bank Foundation
Ashley Culbreth, Registry Administrator, Aging Outreach Services
Cheryl Moody, Colleague Relations Partner, St. Joseph of the Pines
Georgia Lozier, Deputy Chief of Staff, Congressman Richard Hudson - 8th District
Ellen Hillyard, Business Development – Group Sales, Pinehurst Resort
Matthew Prestwood, MHA Vice President, Moore Regional Hospital Operations FirstHealth
Emily Harris, Executive Chef, Southern Pines Brewing Company
Chris Urie, Clinical Educator, Pinehurst Medical Clinic, Inc.

One anonymous participant quoted, “As a result of my participation in the county leadership development program, I wouldn't change my past decisions; however, what I’ve learned has significantly influenced my current and future behavior. I now actively consider ways I can more positively impact community and economic development in the area. I am more likely to pay attention to state and local issues and perform more in-depth research on political candidates. Additionally, I am mindful about supporting small businesses, even if it is more expensive or less convenient. I have made a conscious effort to slow down my decision-making process and have learned that no matter how compassionate, educated, or self-aware one might believe they are about current events and societal issues, there are always unknown factors. Therefore, instead of assuming I know all perspectives, I now actively observe, listen, and seek to understand other viewpoints rather than dive right into solving problems.”

“Effective leaders are open-minded and willing to strive to move forward for a brighter future. These graduates took the time to understand the dynamics of effective leadership and decision making,” said Linda Parsons, President, and CEO of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce. “Participants studied over an 11th month period our community infrastructure, analyzed their own individual leadership styles, and further developed their communication skills. We are proud of this class and the accomplishments that they have all achieved.” For those interested in applying to be apart of the next MCLI Class, more information can be found https://www.moorecountychamber.com/mcli/
The mission of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce is to foster a vibrant business community.  They provide quality, value-added services and programs to members to unite Moore County area businesses in a committed effort to strengthen the economic environment and thus, improve the quality of life for all of Moore County.  With over 600 members the Chamber is instrumental in Fostering a Vibrant Business Community and exists to help strengthen the local economy and promote and preserve a quality of life that is second to none.