Donna Isaacs, executive director at the Campti Field of Dreams, along with 47 other participants graduated from the Delta Leadership Institute 2017-2018 Executive Academy July 27. These graduates now have the tools to support DRA’s efforts to create jobs, build communities, and improve lives across the Mississippi River Delta region and the Black Belt of Alabama.
The 48 graduates completed the year-long DLI Executive Academy, a training program that brings together small business owners, economic development professionals, elected officials, educators, faith leaders, non-profit leaders and doctors from each of the eight states served by DRA. The program equips participants with the tools, experiences and networks that will help them create new economic opportunities in Delta communities as well as support the growth of the region’s economy.
“DLI is an important tool to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of economic development efforts in the Delta region,” DRA Chairman Chris Caldwell said. “We are investing in local leaders who are ready to help us and our partners contribute to job growth for Delta residents.”
The graduates participated in six training sessions over the past year to educate them on the regional and local economic development tools that are working for Delta communities to spark ideas that can be implemented in their own communities.
DLI fellows learn from local, regional and national experts in infrastructure and transportation, small business and entrepreneurship, workforce training, public health and other fields necessary for economic growth in the Delta region.
Since 2005, DLI’s Executive Academy has enhanced the leadership skills, policy knowledge and networks of community members in the Delta region. After graduation, DLI graduates become members of the Delta Leadership Network, which includes more than 500 community leaders who understand the importance of regional collaboration, resource sharing and innovative thinking.
Donna said the past 10 months were amazing. “I am indebted to the faculty, staff, DLN members and all of my classmates for making this an exceptional experience,” said Donna. “Now, as a member of the Delta Leadership Network, I look forward to using what I have learned to improve the quality of life in our community.”