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Leadership Winston-Salem celebrates its 30th year
Photos by Erin Mizelle for the Winston-Salem Chronicle
55 Leadership Winston-Salem current class members, alumni, and 30 sponsors of the
organization dance during the "world premiere" of a song by Natasha Gore, a special song
that commemorates the 30 years of class participants in the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable
uscar Santos (LWS 12 far right), a senior vice presi
dent with BB&T, talks about inspiring others to
make a difference in the community as Stan Kelly,
left, and Evelyn Terry listen at the 2015 Leadership
Winston-Salem 30th anniversary celebration on
Wednesday, June 10, at the Embassy Suites Grand
Pavilion Ballroom in downtown Winston-Salem.
BY TORI PITTMAN
FOR THE CHRONICLE
On Wednesday, June 10, Leadership Winston-Salem
celebrated its 30th anniversary by inducting the approxi
mately 55 members of the class of 2015 at the Grand
Pavilion Ballroom of the Embassy Suites in downtown
1 Jo Ellen Carson, executive director, began by giving a
welcome to the audience of about 200 people from 40
Mayor Allen Joines, class of 1989, spoke about his
aspirations for Winston-Salem.
"So many individuals have gotten involved without
having a vision of moving forward," he said. "To be one of
the top 50 metro areas, the only way is for the entire com
munity to get behind it and move forward."
Following Joines was a panel discussion led by Stan
Kelly, class of 1994, along with Oscar Santos, class of
2012, and Evelyn Terry, from the inaugural class of 1985.
Terry, a member of the N.C. House of Representatives
(District 71), serves as a consultant for Southside
Community Development Corp. and chairwoman of the
Forsyth County Department of Social Services Board of
"I think it was an idea for a person like myself to
become intimately involved with those persons whom we
had from afar considered to be the movers and the shak
ers," Terry said.
Start" Kelly gave his reflections about his personal
"The word 'diversity' and inclusion is what really res
onates with me," Kelly said. "Leadership Winston-Salem
was our front, certainly from an inclusiveness standpoint,
in helping us get what it meant to live and share and dia
logue across differences and appreciate differences."
Kelly went on speaking about his exposure to diversity
through nonprofit organizations that were heavily
involved in making a difference within Winston-Salem.
Oscar Santos, senior vice president with BB&T, made
his point to the audience about not having leadership with
out going through some type of service.
"If you think that service is beneath you, then leader
ship is beyond you," Santos said.
Terry further discussed her personal endeavors with
the program by letting her voice be heard from her work
"The reality of going through the exercise [seminar]
and coming out with a feeling of understanding about how
connected God's creation is, if we only get together, sit
down in a room and understand each other's issues."
"It was a marvelous experience and as a result, I would
have 30 years of relationships that never could have hap
pened without having had the opportunity to participate in
a meaningful way, non-threatening way, and a way that
was not going to be held against me," Terry said.
"I say that with genuine sincerity and gratitude for the
persons who afforded me the opportunity to express
myself and 30 years ago," Terry said.
There were poster boards displayed of community
leaders involved in different programs and the photos of
the inducted classmates from the previous years.
The Chronicle's publisher, Ernie Pitt, was involved in
conversations to form the first class and was a member of
the inaugural class.
There has been about 1,800 graduates in 30 years. A
few well-known graduates are City Manager Lee Garrity,
Police Chief Barry Rountree and the Rev. James C. Hash
Jr. of St. Peter's Church & World Outreach Center.
After the anniversary celebration panel discussion,
there was a video with audience participation singing the
song "Best Class Ever," by Natasha Gore, while other
alumni of the organization were giving their thoughts.
John X. Miller, lead editor of the Winston-Salem
Journal, was nominated by the class of 2015 to be the
speaker at the ceremony.
"Make it a point, classmates, to commit to keeping in
touch with a couple of people in our circle," Miller said.
Near the end of the ceremony, Leadership Winston
Salem received $15,000 and gave the newly graduated
members certificates of completion and a place among the
alumni who came before them.
Leadership Winston-Salem is a charitable organization
that began in 1984 to increase the understanding and com
mitment to the city's future during a time of significant
change and took off in 1985.
The mission of Leadership Winston-Salem is educat
ing, connecting and energizing leaders to serve and
improve the community.
To learn more about Leadership of Winston-Salem, get
involved or apply to the program, go to www.leadership
June 17 - June 23,2015
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