WILMA's Leadership Institute

WILMA’s 2020 Leadership Institute kicked off their first session on January 22 at tekMountain.

See below for a full list of this year’s class.

WILMA’s Leadership Institute gives up-and-coming leaders a unique opportunity to learn from top leaders in the region, visit a range of local companies, and serve as each others’ personal board of directors.

Individuals can apply themselves, and companies are encouraged to nominate high-potential leaders in their organizations.

To see the program’s agenda for 2020, including skills topics, site locations, and guest speakers, click here.

The nine-month program starts in January and meets once a month. The group will meet once a month from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. January-September, except for the January session, which will be a full-day kick-off session, 8 a.m.- 6.p.m.

The program is geared toward those from New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties. Women from a range of backgrounds including large companies, small businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, educational fields, and others are encouraged to apply.

A panel of judges will review all of the submitted applications. If selected as a finalist, the applicant will be notified to schedule an in-person interview in November with the selection committee, which will choose the final class.

If an applicant is accepted by the judges, the cost of the nine-month program is $2,150. The Leadership Institute has some scholarships that are underwritten by our sponsors available for those who work for nonprofits. Payment is due by January 15.


  • Understanding Communication Styles
  • Leveraging Strengths
  • Thinking Strategically
  • Motivating Teams & Managing Conflict
  • Negotiating Techniques
  • Selling Skills & Techniques


  • Chip Mahan, Live Oak Bank CEO
  • Marty Fukuda, N2 Publishing
  • Natalie English, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce President and CEO
  • John Gizdic, NHRMC CEO
  • Julie Wilsey, ILM Airport Director
  • Lisa Leath, Leath HR Group

The Institute is part of WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative, which has a mission to help develop more women leaders in the Wilmington area.

Questions? Contact us at w2w@WILMAmag.com

WILMA Women to Watch Leadership Initiative Co-Directors

Maggi Apel, WILMA/Greater Wilmington Business Journal events director and Vicky Janowski, WILMA/Greater Wilmington Business Journal editor

Learn about WILMA Leadership Institute’s impact from several of its recent graduates:

Vera Newkirk, Compliance and Privacy Officer for New Hanover Regional Medical Center

Katie Gloe, Product Line Manufacturing Engineer for Corning Inc.

April England, Supervisor of Work Management Support for Duke Energy