Moore County Leadership Institute (MCLI) kicked off the 31st year of training with a retreat held at Hampton Inn & Suites in Aberdeen on January 29 and 30.

Linda Parsons, President and CEO of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce welcomed 21 new participants from around the region. Linda stated, “This journey will be different for each and every one of you, that is what makes this experience so unique.”  Participants this year join from Rockingham, Jackson Springs, Seven Lakes, Robbins, Whispering Pines, Aberdeen, Southern Pines and Pinehurst.

MCLI provides participants the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally via programs with community leaders and experts.   We all know there is a universal need for leaders it takes one look at today’s headlines to know that this is true. 

While the chamber may not be able to impact the world issues, it can certainly impact those issues that occur in Moore County by developing effective local leaders.  The Moore County Chamber of Commerce understood this in 1989 when the Moore County Leadership Institute was developed. 

The goal is to develop a broader base of informed, committed, and qualified individuals capable of providing dynamic leadership and work for positive community change in Moore County.  To date, there are over 550 MCLI graduates.  

Participants learn about local history, business challenges, civic issues and community involvement as well as receive targeted leadership development training. Ultimately, these individuals are well rounded, capable leaders with a deeper understanding of civic responsibility. Upon graduation, they are encouraged to serve in the community in a volunteer capacity and to inspire others in their respective workplaces by being transformational leaders.  

The 31st MCLI Class includes:

Elizabeth FutrellFirstHealth – Moore Regional Hospital
Karen TriplettThe Pilot, LLC
Lindsey SimmonsAging Outreach Services
Cory AlbersTown of Southern Pines
Chris MillerFirstHealth – Moore Regional Hospital
Kari GulovichAthletic Club of the Sandhills (AC Sandhills)
Jenn KissingerMorgan Stanley
Rita HairstonMain Street Home Loans
Colette BachandPenick Village, Continuing Care Community
Kim AyersPinehurst National Realty
Shannon StroudFirstHealth – Moore Regional Hospital
Nicole JohnsonFanatical Skin & Ink
Nathan A CherryHicks & Associates – A Private Wealth Advisory Practice, Ameriprise Financial
Jamie EncinosaRhetson Companies, Inc.
Nichole CoxPinehurst Medical Clinic, Inc.
Kelly KiserFirst Bank – Southern Pines
Donathon StoverKeller Williams Realty
Rebecca MourouzisKeller Williams Realty
Carrie BarberFirst Bank – Seven Lakes
Susan WiesnerMain Street Home Loans
Denver McFarlandPinehurst, LLC

“Effective leaders are open-minded and willing to strive to move forward for a brighter future. These individuals are leaping into the program to take the time to not only understand our community but the dynamics of effective leadership and decision making,” said Parsons. “Participants will study over an 11th month period our community infrastructure, analyze their own individual leadership styles, and further developed their communication skills while also volunteering in the community and doing a project that directly impacts Moore County.” 

The two-day retreat kicked off the year with a simulated society exercise facilitated by Well Said Public Relations, as well as a dynamic second day with Myer’s Briggs Assessment led by Anita Alpenfels with Moore County Schools and the marsh mellow challenge with FirstHealth Training Specialist, Linda Harte, MBA.

In addition to the launch of the 31st MCLI Class, the Moore County Chamber announced the formation of an Alumni Association in the spring of 2020. With over 30 years of strong roots in the business community and time-honored success, the chamber staff worked with a small group of MCLI Alumni to create this Association. The Mission of the MCLI Alumni is ‘To provide a resource for the MCLI Alumni community to network and mentor.’

A kick-off event is scheduled for mid-May, sponsored by Aging Outreach Services. Details on applying will be forthcoming. Please contact Jana Volitis, at for further information on the MCLI Alumni Association.


Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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