News & Media

Iredell EDC’s Existing Industry Manager, Todd Black, Graduates Leadership Statesville

The Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce and the Leadership Advisory Board hosted the 2023-2024 Leadership Statesville Class graduation on Thursday, May 2nd at Twisted Oak American Bar & Grill to celebrate a year of achievement.  Todd Black, Iredell EDC’s Existing Industry Manager, was a proud member of the graduating class.

Leadership Statesville is a nine-month community leadership program sponsored by the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce for the purpose of developing qualified, highly motivated individuals who are interested in expanding their leadership roles at work and in the community by developing skills, deepening their sense of civic responsibility, and becoming more involved in the community.

A full day each month is dedicated to exploring the inner workings of the region’s government, educational system, economic development, service organizations, regional issues, leisure and culture, health services, and public safety. Class members learn and practice skills critical to developing a leadership style for their career and to work with other organizations in the community. Included in this program is formal leadership training facilitated by Charles Page of Cool Spring Center, which is unique to other leadership programs.

Jon Madison, Madison & Co., Committee Chair of Leadership Statesville is passionate about this program. “Each year a dedicated group of individuals pour their time and energy into a Leadership Statesville class.  Each class something new shines through,” Jon explains. “This year’s theme seemed to revolve around connections. Through intentional leader development, community programs and a plethora of businesses, nonprofits, and government entities this class emerged better connected to their community and each other. I couldn’t be prouder. Well done.”

Charles Ashe, GSCC Board Chair shared, “I feel Leadership Statesville helps us build community and I am so proud of this program and how it serves to strengthen our budding leaders.  I believe those who complete this program walk away with connections and knowledge they will use throughout their careers.”

“Leadership Statesville is an exceptional program dedicated to growing a strong leadership base,” Todd Black adds. “It helped me to better understand my own leadership style and how to best leverage that style to be a successful leader.”

Each year, class members work together on a project that benefits the community. This year the class partnered with The Foundry House to create a welcoming outdoor social meeting space.  At the graduation awards ceremony, Amber Weatherman spoke about why Leadership selected The Foundry House to support, “We wanted to make a difference in the lives of individuals who struggle with addiction, as well as the challenges of re-entry into our community after incarceration,” explained Amber. “Addiction affects every aspect of our community, from families to businesses and schools, requiring additional local resources to deal with these issues. Goal is to assist these individuals to successfully recover and become contributing members to our community, then all this work is a great investment in their lives and their journey.”

This year, the Leadership class unanimously voted to award one of their classmates, Fire Chief Glenn Kurfees, the “Leading Leader Achievement Award.” “We wanted to acknowledge Glenn’s commitment to organizing and leading our group coordinating all aspects of completing the project,” noted Joni Stone, participant from the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce. “Glenn’s enthusiasm to handle the operational aspect of the project went above and beyond, making sure everything was handled. He even took a vacation day to make up for bad weather. He definitely deserved to be acknowledged for his dedication.”

“For me, the opportunity to volunteer and help build-up a non-profit organization like Foundry House that helps men who are sincerely trying to get their life back on track after experiencing incarceration was far more than just a service to the community,” Todd shared.  “It was the cornerstone of my Leadership Statesville experience.  I not only graduated with a better understanding of the City of Statesville and the knowledge of how to be a better leader, but I was also allowed to take ownership in helping the city provide a wonderful service to an underserved segment of our community. I cannot commend the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce enough for the extensive and thought-provoking programs of Leadership Statesville.”