Press release from UNC Asheville, shared Feb. 27:

Leadership Asheville, a leadership development organization, will join with UNC Asheville in the coming months and transition away from its current status as an independent, nonprofit organization.  The announcement was made today, following discussions between leaders of the two organizations and a vote by the Leadership Asheville board of directors.

For more than 30 years, Leadership Asheville has developed, connected and mobilized citizens through intensive programs and events focusing on community orientation and leadership development.  More than 1,100 leaders from the business, nonprofit and education sectors have participated in the Leadership Asheville program.

Leadership Asheville will become a part of the University Advancement office and will be structured to complement other community outreach efforts including the Family Business Forum and the division of corporate and foundation relations. Through this new arrangement, both the university and Leadership Asheville will bring their talents and assets together to increase leadership capacities in the community. Leadership Asheville functioned within UNC Asheville from its beginning in 1982 until it changed to a private, nonprofit group in 2010.

Bill Treasurer, chair of the board of Leadership Asheville said: “We are re-establishing and re-imagining a long-standing relationship with UNC Asheville, so that both organizations can have an even greater impact on the community and the people who lead it. Both organizations are jointly dedicated to developing leaders and to enhancing our wonderful community. For Leadership Asheville, this partnership will not only allow us to expand our educational programmatic offerings, but also allows us to deepen our impact on the community. The new partnership creates an opportunity that moves the Leadership Asheville organization from successful to significant.”

Chancellor Anne Ponder commented: “Leadership is the essential catalyst that brings a liberal arts education to life. This alignment with Leadership Asheville affirms our shared responsibility to address the most pressing issues in our region, while enhancing our natural connection with businesses in our community as Asheville’s university.”

Leadership Asheville will be self-supporting through sponsorships and tuition paid by program participants. Future plans call for increased programs in youth development, board readiness and several forms of support for young professionals in the Asheville area. Leadership Asheville will report to Brian Turner, director of corporate and foundation relations for advancement.

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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