Chatham County celebrates 24 graduates of Leadership Academy Class of 2023

Pittsboro, NC – On December 7, 2023, Chatham County honored 24 graduates of its Leadership Academy Class of 2023. Since its inception in 2002, the leadership development program has produced 405 graduates.

2023 graduating class of Chatham County Leadership Academy (photo by Kevin Lindley)

The Leadership Academy was developed to help employees gain the skills necessary to effectively manage their jobs while preparing them for expanded responsibilities. It is the only such program in the state where all classes are taught by County employees, many of whom are graduates of the academy. In the past few years, the program was able to also include employees of the towns and nonprofit partners serving Chatham County.

Chance Mullis

“We are so fortunate in Chatham County to have the most talented, hard-working, and passionate people serving our community,” said County Manager Dan LaMontagne. “The Chatham County Leadership Academy allows our valuable employees to grow both professionally and personally. I appreciate the hard work and commitment of our instructors, coordinators, and students to make this program a success for more than 20 years.”

Each year, the classmates and instructors select a graduate for the Charlie Horne Outstanding Student award. This year’s academy honored Chance Mullis, who works for the Chatham County Planning Department.

The 2023 Leadership Academy graduates:

  • Daniel Ange, Chatham County Facilities
  • Christy Blackburn, Chatham County Tax
  • Dyane Cayer, Chatham County Environmental Quality
  • Julie Farrington Cheek, Chatham County Human Resources
  • Kristen Gordon, Chatham County Sheriff’s Office
  • Marcus Hart, Chatham County Sheriff’s Office
  • Justin Hasenfus, Chatham County Watershed Protection
  • Katy Keller, Town of Pittsboro
  • Madeline Krimm, Chatham County Court Services
  • Kara Lusk, Chatham County Manager’s Office
  • Ashlyn Martin, Chatham County Aging Services
  • Helena McGovern, Chatham County Social Services
  • LeAnn McKoy, Chatham County Social Services
  • Erin Metzger, Chatham County Parks and Recreation
  • Chance Mullis, Chatham County Planning
  • Michele Peluso, Chatham County Finance
  • Brennan Pore, Chatham County Permits and Inspections
  • Meredith Pryor, Chatham County Social Services
  • Lou Ann Riddle, Chatham County Public Health
  • John Royal, Chatham County Emergency Management
  • Jason Ruiz, Chatham County Management of Information Systems (MIS)
  • Juana Gomez Soriano, Chatham County Library
  • Cathy Taylor, Chatham County Register of Deeds
  • Phillip Thompson, Chatham Economic Development Corporation (EDC)

The Leadership Academy is a one-year program, which includes required courses such as County Government 101, Supervision, and Business Writing. Participants also choose elective courses like Hot Topics, Workplace Safety & Security, and Defensive Driving.