CIVIC Leadership Institute Newsletter  |  Issue 5 |  January 2020

Message from the President & CEO

Dear CIVIC Alumni:

Regional strength comes from the unique makeup of a strong, diverse community.  I truly believe we have this strength in the 757 and it has the potential to connect and unite us.  CIVIC Leadership Institute was founded on the premise that bringing a diverse group of people together to learn from one other, and collectively discover the various facets of the region, would help build trust.  Trust is the foundation for unity.

This is a remarkable week, and the concept of leadership has a great deal of significance.  Yesterday we celebrated the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Tomorrow, we’ll observe a uniquely American ritual on the steps of our nation’s capitol.  The need for leadership at all levels is more important now than ever before.  For us to realize the full potential of this region, we must dedicate ourselves to participating in healthy discourse and work towards building an inclusive community and region.  We have much work to do, especially as it pertains to racial justice, equity and inclusion.  I hope we all aspire to be the agents of change our region – and our nation – needs right now.

This month’s newsletter spotlights some of the past year’s amazing programming.  You’ll also learn more about our CIVIC Scholars program, and we encourage you to consider becoming a mentor to these exceptional students.  Cultivating leadership is so important and helps build the foundation needed to propel the region.

Advancing the dialogue about the region’s vibrant future is one of the most powerful tools in our recovery toolbelt.  You can be part of that effort.  You can introduce new visionaries to the conversation.  You can share your own stories of how this region has impacted your life and career with others.  You can share your specific skills and talents with a non-profit in the community making a difference.  While we all might have different perspectives, our goals for the region to grow and prosper are similar.  I look forward to working with each of you this year as we strive towards these ideals.


Sarah Jane Kirkland
President & CEO


This year our CIVIC Scholars Program is operating entirely virtually, which has changed the way we interact with our students. What has not changed is our dedication to connecting these young leaders with CIVIC’s network of alumni. The Mentor Link Experience is a key part of how we encourage the Scholars to engage with their community and prepare them professionally. We truly believe that building cross-generational relationships will allow us to move our community forward together.

While our Mentor Link Experience pairs are set for this program year, I am always taking names of those who are interested in volunteering for this opportunity in the future. If you would like to mentor one of our Scholars please send me an email at In the meantime, keep an eye out for updates and stories about this year’s Mentor Link Experience—we are already very excited about our executive and student pairs!

Megan Shuford
CIVIC Scholars Program Associate

Executive Program Sessions

We hope you were able to join us for some of our exclusive virtual programming sessions open to CIVIC Alumni this fall. Didn’t have a chance to join us? View the recording of our sessions with Dr. Janice Underwood, Mr. John Reinhart and Secretary Aubrey Layne below. Keep an eye out for more programming opportunities coming your way this spring!

Dr. Janice Underwood:

Mr. John Reinhart:

Secretary Aubrey Layne: