5 from Arkansas chosen for Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 461 views 

Black River Technical College (BRTC) vice president of Institutional advancement Dr. Karen Powers Liebhaber was recently selected as a fellow of the 2024 Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy. Additional Arkansans chosen for the program include Eudora Mayor Tomeka Butler, Wynne Mayor Jennifer Hobbs, Jamie R. Wright the co-founder of Alliance for Rural Impact, and Yancey Kyle, a field representative for U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs.

The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) has selected a total of 29 community leaders from Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee as fellows of the 2024 Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy, an extensive nine-month leadership development program that brings together public, private, and nonprofit sector leaders from the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions. The 2024 DLI Executive Academy fellows were selected through a competitive application process led by DRA’s eight state governors and DRA’s federal co-chairman.

“The Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy is an essential instrument for nurturing community placemaking and capacity building in the Delta region,” said Federal Co-Chairman Dr. Corey Wiggins. “This program will give this dedicated and diverse group of leaders the tools they need to drive change within and outside their communities and accelerate prosperity across the region.”

Since 2005, the DLI Executive Academy has provided leadership development to more than 700 community leaders from diverse backgrounds, sectors, and industries to improve economic competitiveness and social viability throughout the Delta region.

DRA created the program to empower a corps of leaders with the tools, experiences, and networks to address local and regional economic development challenges. DRA invests in regional leadership through its annual DLI Executive Academy. Fellows representing each of the eight DRA states are selected by the eight governors and the Federal Co-Chairman from a competitive pool of applicants that represent both the public and private sectors.

The fellows will participate in six in-person sessions led by local, regional, and national experts and cover policy areas and skills related to public infrastructure, regional transportation systems, workforce development, coalition-building, and other fields necessary to facilitate economic development in the Delta.

As a result, DLI Executive Academy fellows graduate with enhanced decision-making skills, policy development know-how, strengthened leadership capacity, and a mutual understanding of regional, state, and local culture and issues.

The DRA was established in 2000 as a formal framework for joint federal-state collaboration to promote and encourage the economic development of the lower Mississippi River and Alabama Black Belt regions. To fulfill this purpose, DRA invests in projects supporting transportation infrastructure, basic public infrastructure, workforce training, and business development. DRA works to create jobs, build communities, and improve the lives of those who reside in the region. DRA’s region encompasses 252 counties and parishes in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.