LNC Celebrates Graduation of Class XXIII

XXIII Graduation Picture--Cropped

Leadership North Carolina Class XXIII

On May 13, 2016, Leadership North Carolina celebrated the graduation of LNC Class XXIII with a ceremony in the Old House Chamber of the North Carolina State Capitol. The event was attended by friends, family, and colleagues of the graduates as well as by LNC board members and alumni.

For fifty-five outstanding leaders from across the state, the day served to commemorate a journey they started eight months earlier. Beginning last October, these passionate and engaged leaders visited six different North Carolina cities to learn about government, health and human services, economic development, education, and the environment in North Carolina. They gained knowledge, friendships, and connections that will help them leverage their influence and commitment to North Carolina for years to come.


Brenda Berg, Shawan Gabriel, Brian Etheridge

Prior to the presentation of graduation certificates, Brenda Berg of Best NC and alumnus of LNC Class XXII announced the recipient of the Class XXIII Stanley Frank Award as Shawan Gabriel, president and chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters Services Inc. in Winston-Salem. Shawan was chosen by his classmates to receive this honor for his commitment to education, to creating opportunities for young people, and to providing leadership for positive change. Shawan’s mother, wife, and daughters surprised him with their attendance at the ceremony.

Following Shawan’s remarks, the program shifted to Class XXIII graduation speaker Matt Ferraguto, partner/client services director at Eckel and Vaughan.  Also chosen by his classmates, Matt shared his gratitude for the LNC opportunity, his reflections on his LNC experience and the lessons it taught him, and his challenge to his classmates to view completing the LNC program as just the beginning of their impact on their communities and state.

Each LNC class is challenged to “pay it forward” by presenting a class gift to the William Garrett Fund. The Garrett Fund provides scholarships to help make the LNC program accessible to those who might not otherwise be able to participate. With their generous donation of $51,715, members of Class XXIII set a new record for the highest total pledged to support this critical program.

LNC’s board, staff, and the members of Class XXIII shared their special thanks and appreciation with Class XXII member Kristy Teskey, executive director of the John M. Belk Endowment, for her outstanding service as Class XXIII program chair and welcomed Lisa Humphreys, senior vice president, organizational development for the YMCA of the Triangle, as incoming program chair for Class XXIV.  LNC’s leadership also expressed thanks to the many sponsors that make the LNC program possible.  A list of LNC’s sponsors can be found here.

Photo credits: Whitney Bailey Photography

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