Leadership Triangle Celebrates Graduation of Inaugural College Edition

“In going through the College Edition I’ve attained invaluable collaboration skills and have become aware of incredible opportunities and individuals in the Triangle.  Thank you to all who have made this program possible, it’s a significant investment that I will not regret.”
– Alex Ferguson, Wake Tech  Community College

Jim Goodmon & Brandon Williams
CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon (left) congratulates Brandon Williams of St. Augustine’s College on receiving his Leadership Triangle diploma.
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Leadership Triangle celebrated the graduation of the inaugural class of the organization’s new College Edition program.   Over the past several months, the non-profit dedicated to training Triangle citizens with an emphasis on the importance of regionalism has been in full tilt with its latest endeavor, to train up leaders before they even leave college.

The graduation took place in American Tobacco’s Bay 7 in downtown Durham on Friday, April 17, 2009, at 5pm.  The reception honored the 19 graduates, who hail from all the different colleges & universities in the Triangle.

“For 17 years Leadership Triangle has offered classes for Triangle leaders,” said LT Executive Director Winkie La Force.  “People who represent for profits, non profits, and elected officials who live in Chatham, Durham, Orange and Wake counties.  We then decided to expand our classes to include our famous higher education institutions in the Triangle and thus the College Edition was born.”

Nineteen area college students participated in the first-ever Leadership Triangle College Edition.
Trivia Tournament
Tom Stevens (l to r), Jim Goodmon & George Smart really get into the College Trivia Tournament.

Each student had a mentor who is already a leader in the Triangle community.  Professionals from executive directors to vice presidents personally worked with the students.  Collectively the students met for classes taught by more of the Triangle’s most esteemed leaders.  Most of the students are juniors.

The students hail from almost a dozen Triangle colleges & universities.

CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon, who chairs the Leadership Triangle Board, spoke to the students after presenting them with their diplomas. 

“I’ve been in a lot of value engineering meetings [lately], when you have to cut the budget,” Goodmon told the students.  “Promise me you that you do not value engineer your future, don’t back up one step.  Stay with those high goals and you can reach them.  Don’t value engineer your goals, don’t value engineer your values.”

“We’re in a very bad recession/depression because a lot of people value engineered their values,” Goodmon continued.  “So don’t do that.  Stay with your values and stay with your goals.”

“Leadership Triangle helped me connect with many people from many different backgrounds.  If I could I would want all my friends to get a chance to experience it.”
-Brandon Williams, St. Augustine’s College

Goodmon also thanked the sponsors and mentors.  “There has been a whole lot of excitement about this program,” he said.  “A lot of people helped expand Leadership Triangle into this important area.”

Students Michael Plater (l to r), Vanessa Bowman-Allen, Kornelius Bascombe, Fidelity Investments’ Leslie Walden & student Amber Thomas applaud The Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC after presenting a check for $15,000 from Fidelity.

Fidelity Investments presented the inaugural Leadership Triangle College Edition program along with American Tobacco, CBC and iContact.  The Durham Bulls contributed as well.

As a surprise for the students, Fidelity Investments turned one of their class exercises into a reality.  The College Edition students developed ideas to help with four real-life challenges of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC.  Fidelity was so impressed with their creativity that the company decided to underwrite some of the students’ ideas.  Fidelity gave the students a $15,000 check and tool kit to present to the Food Bank at the graduation ceremony.

College Trivia Tournament
The students lead their tables in participating in a College Trivia Tournament at the close of the ceremony.

“This will make a difference,” said Allen Reep, Development Director of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC.  “You’re making a difference.  You will make a difference.”

Leadership Triangle College Edition is one of the truest expressions of LT’s mission to promote regionalism.  The endeavor was the Triangle’s first-ever to involve all area major institutions of higher learning in one project.



Leadership Triangle College Edition Graduation

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