Lillie Read, executive director of the Cartersville Downtown Development Authority, netted one of the 40 spots in the upcoming Appalachian Leadership Institute class.

The Appalachian Regional Commission announced on Wednesday its selection of Fellows from among 115 applicants in its 13 member states. Two other Georgians also won seats: Marie T. Cochran of Duke University/UNC Chapel Hill in Toccoa and Patrick Larson of the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission in Gainesville.

“These phenomenal Appalachians are the driving force of change in their communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “Their perseverance and dedication to the region is evident, and I have no doubt that this program will aid them in continuing to help their communities grow and thrive.”

The annual institute is an extensive, nine-month series of skill-building seminars featuring regional experts, peer-to-peer learning, and case study analysis. The program begins virtually in October and culminates with the Class of 2021-2022’s graduation in July.

“The Appalachian Leadership Institute offers an incredible opportunity for fellows to learn firsthand from community leaders and develop crucial skills,” said ARC States’ Co-Chair Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will automatically become part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Alumni network, a peer-to-peer working group committed to Appalachia’s future.

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