HICKORY — Leaders from throughout the Catawba Valley gathered on April 5 for the first Catawba Valley Leadership Conference. The theme of the conference was “Leadership is Alive and Well in the Catawba Valley.” More than 200 people attended the half-day event, which was held at Lake Hickory Country Club and was hosted by The Catawba Valley Leadership Foundation.
The keynote speaker for the conference was David Stegall, former superintendent of Newton-Conover Schools. Stegall emphasized how the challenges faced by leaders serve to forge the character of the leader — lessons he learned in his time as a superintendent and now in his role with GEMS Education in Dubai, UAE.
Another highlight of the conference was the presentation of The Catawba Valley Leadership Impact Award, which was presented to Debbie Haynes, founder of Safe Harbor. In the award presentation speech, Paul Thompson, founder and chairman of Transportation Insight, spoke of the impact that has rippled throughout the community as a result of Haynes’ vision, leadership and service.
Attendees represented local businesses, schools, government, and nonprofit organizations. Other speakers included Bruce Schronce, founder and president of StrongLead, LLC, and Chuck Myers, who is an executive partner with StrongLead.
Proceeds from the event support the Strong Student Leader program, which provides mentoring to students at high schools within the Catawba Valley region. Chad Hall, president of The Catawba Valley Leadership Foundation, says the nonprofit is dedicated to improving life for every person in the Catawba Valley by improving the quality of leaders. For more information on the organization, visit www.catawbaleadership.org.
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