Delta Leadership Institute Graduates 6 AL Leaders Poised to Support Economic Development Efforts

July 30, 2018

Left to right: Kennard Randolph, Joseph Oglesby, Brandy Wilkerson, Quinton Harris, Johnny Green, Greg Cochran, and Chris Caldwell (DRA).

PADUCAH, Ky. – The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) congratulates six new Alabama graduates of the Delta Leadership Institute (DLI) Executive Academy who now have the tools to support DRA’s efforts to create jobs, build communities, and improve lives across the Black Belt of Alabama and the Delta region.

The six graduates completed the year-long DLI Executive Academy, a training program that brings together public, private, and nonprofit-sector leaders from each of the eight states served by DRA. The program equips participants with the tools, experiences and networks that will help them create new economic opportunities in Delta communities as well as support the growth of the region’s economy.

“DLI is an important tool to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of economic development efforts in the Delta region,” DRA Chairman Chris Caldwell said. “We are investing in these Alabama leaders who are ready to help us and our partners contribute to job growth for Delta residents.”

The graduates participated in six training sessions over the past year to educate them on the regional and local economic and community development tools that are working for Delta communities to spark ideas that can be implemented in their own communities.

“I am so proud of the Alabamians who were selected and stepped up to the challenge of enrolling and graduating from the year-long Delta Leadership Institute,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “Their commitment to this program is a solid indication of their dedication and devotion to their communities, our Black Belt region and Alabama. I am confident that they will use the knowledge they gained to strengthen their communities.”

 The Alabama graduates are:

  • Greg Cochran, Montgomery | Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, Alabama League of Municipalities
  • Johnny Green, Auburn | Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Auburn University
  • Quinton Harris, Snow Hill | Area Director, USDA Rural Development
  • Joseph Oglesby, Monroeville | Mayor, City of Monroeville
  • Kennard Randolph, Selma | Executive Director, Selma Housing Authority
  • Brandy Wilkerson, Thomasville | Planning Director, Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission

DLI fellows learn from local, regional and national experts in infrastructure and transportation, small business and entrepreneurship, workforce training, public health and other fields necessary for economic growth in the Delta region.

Since 2005, DLI's Executive Academy has enhanced the leadership skills, policy knowledge and networks of community members in the Delta region. After graduation, the Alabama graduates become members of the Delta Leadership Network, which includes more than 500 community leaders who understand the importance of regional collaboration, resource sharing and innovative thinking.

DLI is a program of DRA in partnership with three institutions of higher education in the Delta region: The University of Alabama, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro and the University of Louisiana Monroe.

Contact: Andrew Moreau