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Chamber Welcomes 14 Professionals to Inaugural Leadership Academy

Chamber Welcomes 14 Professionals to Inaugural Leadership Academy
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Virginia – The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce (SMLRCC) welcomed 14 professionals in its inaugural Smith Mountain Lake (SML) Leadership Academy, a 12-month program designed to educate, connect, and inspire existing and emerging community leaders.
The SML Leadership Academy kicked off on Jan. 6 at The Franklin Center for Advanced Learning and Enterprise in Rocky Mount and featured a half-day orientation and guest speaker Beth Bell, executive director of the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce. Bell delivered a presentation entitled “Developing Your Centers of Influence,” which included advice and tips to improve networking Return on Investment (ROI).
“Bell’s presentation was impressive and provided participants with strategies to build lasting relationships that are mutually beneficial and that can boost market access and credibility through referrals, testimonials, and simple, undervalued word-of-mouth,” stated SMLRCC Executive Director Christopher Finley, noting that Bell also serves as publisher of Macaroni Kid Roanoke, founder and president of FemCity Roanoke, a women's networking group, and as a columnist for Valley Business FRONT.
The SML Leadership Academy is dedicated to investing in leadership and community awareness,” Finley added. “During monthly sessions, participants will engage with local leaders to expand their awareness and understanding of unique issues and opportunities facing the Smith Mountain Lake community, as well as Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania counties. Classes also will include leadership professional development, networking, site tours and team building.”
Following is a list of 2021 SML Leadership Academy participants:
John Broughton, CBO
Franklin County Building Official
Evan Deyerle
Lending Assistant
American National Bank and Trust
Julia Darling
Smith Mountain Lake Rental
Savvy Promos Inc.
Kelly Drinkard, CMCA, AMS
Common Interest Community Manager
Perrow Management Corp.
Dr. Charles Dudley
President and Co-Founder
Advantage Merchant Systems LLC
Mariel Fowler, CZO
Bedford County Division of Planning
Christine Giglio
CAD Administrator
Department of E-911 Communications
Bedford County
Shauna Janczuk
Loan Officer
Farm Credit of the Virginias                                                              
Xan Pilgrim, CRS, GRI
Associate Broker
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate
Betty Robertson, BSN, RN
Carilion Community Health & Outreach Educator
Madeline Sefcik
Clerk to the Board of Supervisors
Franklin County
Whitney Pugh, FNP-BC
Agenacare Housecalls, PLLC
Tommie Jo Walker
Account Executive
Womack Publishing
Ryan Walters

About Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce
The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce (SMLRCC) is dedicated to promoting tourism and growing business for its members and the community. As a member-driven organization with 650 members, the SMLRCC provides information, advocacy, and support to the lake’s growing business community. SMLRCC’s goal is to strengthen the social and economic environment of the region. Visit online at

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