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Leadership Academy

Educating Emerging Leaders at SML

The Smith Mountain Lake Leadership Academy is a 12-month leadership program designed to develop a diversified corps of informed, committed and qualified individuals who will assume leadership roles for Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania county organizations, both public and private, to meet the needs of the future.

Class of 2024

Altice, Robin

Robin Altice

The Claiborne Bed & Breakfast

Brown, Daniel

Daniel Brown

Bedford County 911

Bugg ,Kevin

Kevin Bugg

Bugg Agency State Farm

Byrd, Jodie

Jodie Byrd

Ridge View Bank

Carter, Faith

Faith Carter


Diehl, Kimberly

Kimberly Diehl

SML Heating & Air

Ebert, Eric

Eric Eberth

National Financial Services

Green, Chad

Chad Green

Cox Communications

Hodnett, Jason

Jason Hodnett

Mango's Bar & Grill

Jarrett, Barry

Barry Jarrett

American National Bank

Martin, Brian

Brian Martin

Bedford County Parks & Recreation

Martin, Pam

Pam Martin

Magnets USA

Mitchell, Maegan

Maegan Mitchell

Bethlehem United Methodist Church

Terrill, Inge

Inge Terrill

Phoebe Needles Center

Perez, John

John Perez

Mariners Landing

Ventola, Rebecca

Rebecca Ventola

Franklin County Public Library

Robertson, Amanda

Amanda Robertson

Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital



About the Leadership Academy


  • To identify and develop potential and existing leaders in business, government, and the community and to help them better prepare for responsibility in the community.
  • To provide these leaders with a practical, clear and simple understanding of major problems and opportunities facing our community.
  • To facilitate access between emerging leaders and current leadership of the community.
  • To improve the communications network among leaders from diverse backgrounds and interests.
  • To create an avenue for persons of demonstrated commitment to the community to meet and exchange ideas.
  • To stimulate increased participation in and commitment to the community.

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Smith Mountain Lake Leadership Academy is to develop local leaders by equipping them with leadership skills, to provide information on community issues so that the community can progress, and to evoke community action based on the presentation of these issues.


Each year, participants are selected through an application process.  Orientation begins in early January and class days are the first Wednesday of each month with graduation in early December.

The Chamber will accept a limited number of participants from a diverse group of local professionals, representing various local industries and entities. For those selected, the tuition will be $750, which includes orientation, classes, networking mixers and graduation.

2024 Schedule

This is a tentative schedule. More details will be distributed to the class at orientation. Most classes will be in session noon-4:30 p.m.


Wednesday, January 10


History & Culture

Wednesday, February 7


Regional Leadership

Wednesday, March 6


Tour of Smith Mountain Dam

Wednesday, April 3


Recreation, Tourism & Hospitality

Wednesday, May 1


Health & Human Services/Poverty Awareness

Wednesday, June 5


Protective Services

Wednesday, July 10


Economic Development

Wednesday, August 7



Wednesday, September 11


Agri-Business/Natural Resources

Wednesday, October2



Wednesday, November 11



Wednesday, Dec. 4


In order to successfully complete the Smith Mountain Lake Leadership Academy program, attendance is expected at all scheduled sessions. Failure to attend all sessions may result in participant's ineligibility to graduate from the program. The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber realizes that unexpected situations may arise that result in participant's inability to attend. In such instances the Chamber’s Education Committee will evaluate the absence on a case-by-case basis.

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