Thomas Nelson’s Michelle Alexander was among 29 LEAD Greater Williamsburg graduates acknowledged on May 16 during a ceremony at the American Revolution Museum in Yorktown.
With more than 100 program alumni and supporters in attendance, the LEAD Greater Williamsburg Board of Directors and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance’s board celebrated the class of 2019. The event featured a keynote message from Bryan K. Stephens, president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber.
This year marks the LEAD program’s 25thanniversary. Graduating over 400 individuals to date, the intensive eight-month program helps participants gain a deeper appreciation for their community in areas such as education, public safety, health and human services, economic drivers, environmental sustainability, local and state government, workforce development, and the military through educational sessions, tours and candid conversations with community leaders.
LEAD alumni develop lasting personal relationships, gain an invaluable professional network, and continue to support their community through service as elected officials, local government planning commissioners and non-profit board members.
Alexander, an assistant professor of Health, Physical Education and Wellness, joined Thomas Nelson’s faculty in 2010 having previously been a health educator at William & Mary and a health education specialist in the Williamsburg-James City County school system. She has a bachelor’s degree in Health Science, a master’s degree in public health and is a certified health education specialist through the National Commission on Health Education.
During the leadership program, Alexander was part of a diverse group representing government, business, military, faith-based organizations, non-profit agencies, and more. This year’s class project was WMBG Kind, a community kindness awareness campaign aimed at inspiring Greater Williamsburg to become the next Community of Kindness. Through strong community engagement efforts, traditional media coverage, and a powerful social media strategy, the campaign reached thousands of people across Hampton Roads, according to the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance which sponsors LEAD Greater Williamsburg.
Thomas Nelson has four others undertaking another community leadership program through the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. Learning of Resources Director Richard Hodges, Human Resources Analyst Donna Norman, Renee Peterson of Financial Aid/Veterans Services, and Transfer & Career Coordinator Geronimo Sutphin are slated to graduate next month from LEAD Peninsula as part of the class of 2019.