Center leads Promise Zone team to Los Angeles for leadership training

Jess Wilbanks makes a point during a training session on using volunteers more effectively.

OCT. 17, 2017  |   The Center for a Better South last week led an eight-member team from Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton and Hampton counties to Los Angeles, Calif., for community leadership training offered by the national outreach group NeighborWorks America.

“It was a phenomenal honor and opportunity for members of our team to learn about leadership, community economic development lessons and best practices from national experts and to be able bring these lessons home to help the region,” said Andy Brack, president of the Center for a Better South, which is based in Charleston.

Team members pictured from left are: Anthony Rhone, Robert Thomas, Sandra Bland, Andy Brack, Liana Orr, Ronald Williams and Jess Wilbanks. Not pictured is Fred Jones.

The Oct. 12-15 invitation-only training to NeighborWorks’ Community Leadership Institute focused on ways neighbors can work with neighbors to build stronger communities.  It offered three days of meetings to support local leaders by helping them to sharpen abilities and to discover new tools and initiatives to succeed at home.

Among those attending (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Sandra D. Bland, coordinator, S.C. Promise Zone, Barnwell;
  • Andy Brack, president of the Center for a Better South, Charleston;
  • Fred Jones of Walterboro, organizational consultant;
  • Liana Orr of Blackville, real estate broker and chairman of Barnwell County Museum;
  • Anthony Rhone of Walterboro, president/CEO of Village Investment Project;
  • Robert E. Thomas of Bamberg, executive director of S.C. Regional Housing Authority #3.
  • Jess Wilbanks, Barnwell County United Way, Barnwell;
  • Ronald L. Williams, mayor pro-tem of Varnville and an instructor at Denmark Technical College.

“My trip to L.A. through CLI taught me the value of gathering and building with like-minded individuals,” Rhone said.  “The class I took on fundraising for small non-profits gave me valuable information to use in my future fundraising and organizational goals.”

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