Leadership Institute Recap: Kicking Off a New Year

This year's orientation took place at tekMountain

The 2020 cohort of WILMA’s Leadership Institute started its nine-month program with a full-day orientation earlier this month.

The thirty-two women who are part of the class met at tekMountain on January 22, learning about each other’s backgrounds and goals they want to tackle in the months ahead.

CastleBranch CFO LAUREN HENDERSON gave the group a primer about CastleBranch and tekMountain and their operations there.

During the day, the group also heard from:

• LYNN WHITESELL, Harris Whitesell Consulting, on effective goal setting for the year;

• KIM NELSON, KNTCompany and WILMA’s mentoring adviser, about the benefits of mentoring and peer mentoring in particular; and

• RACHEL OLSEN, The Forte Institute, on their individual communication-styles assessment results and communicating within teams.

Start with strategy when deciding which goals to pursue, Whitesell advised the class.

“Remember that the role of leaders is twofold: helping drive near-term performance and ensuring long-term sustainability to prepare for the future,” she said. “Your goals should reflect this.”

A panel of WILMA’s Leadership Institute alum also shared tips, takeaways, and inspiration to best take advantage of their time this year. They were ROBBIN WILLIAMS, GE Hitachi Nuclear; KARA KENAN, Going Beyond the Pink; and JESSICA LOEPER, New Hanover County.

Other alum and members of WILMA’s advisory board and WILMA Network stopped by at the end of the day for an after-hours networking social.

For a list of this year’s Leadership Institute members, click here. Applications for the annual program will go out again in the fall.

The Leadership Institute is part of WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative, an initiative WILMA magazine launched in 2015 with a number of programs to help develop more women leaders in the region.


To view more of photographer Michael Cline Spencer’s work, go to michaelclinephoto.com.

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Categories: Women to Watch