ARC Announces Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows for 2022-2023

New class of 40 fellows represents public, private, and nonprofit sectors across Appalachia’s 13 states

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 6, 2022—Today the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced the 40 fellows selected for the 2022-2023 Class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute, a free leadership and economic development training opportunity for individuals currently living and/or working in one of ARC’s 13 Appalachian states. The 2022-2023 class comprises a diverse network of professionals representing all 13 Appalachian states and a wide spectrum of perspectives and sectors, including tourism, healthcare, education, civil service, and more.

The nine-month curriculum is anchored by six multi-day seminars across the Appalachian region focusing on each of ARC’s strategic investment priorities, which aim to strengthen economic and community growth in Appalachia. The fourth class will run from October 2022 through July 2023, focusing on skill-building seminars and best practice reviews to prepare fellows to:

  • Design effective economic development project proposals
  • Integrate community assets into long-term economic development strategies
  • Identify resources available to spark economic and community development
  • Locate and access investment capital from a variety of public and private sources
  • Prepare competitive applications for public grant opportunities
  • Use expanded connections and leadership skills to create strong regional partnerships

“Congratulations to the incoming 2022-2023 class of Appalachian Leadership Institute fellows! These leaders are already growing their Appalachian communities and will be even better equipped to drive positive change after their work with this program,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “I am eager to see this class of fellows collaborate across state lines to set big goals that will help the entire Appalachian region thrive.”

Appalachian Leadership Institute fellows were selected via a competitive application process to reflect the Appalachian region’s wide range of economic development challenges, opportunities, and strategies. The 2022-2023 Appalachian Leadership Institute fellows are:


  • Gary Padgett, Professor, University of North Alabama, Florence
  • Jenny Stubbs, Owner, Yellow House Publishing, Wetumpka


  • Tee Faircloth, Founder/CEO, Coordinated Care Inc., Atlanta
  • Bobbi Larson, Director of Economic Development and Community Engagement, University of North Georgia, Dahlonega


  • Baylen Campbell, Director of Community Impact, Invest Appalachia, Hazard
  • Joanie Jasper, Executive Director, Middlesboro Main Street, Middlesboro
  • Tammie Nazario, President/CEO, Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, Somerset
  • Aaron Poynter, Director of Reentry Programming, Cumberlands and South Central Workforce Development Boards, Russell Springs
  • Will Warren, Economic Development Consultant, Vita Nuova, London


  • Jim Raley, Executive Director, Archway Station, Cumberland
  • David Shuster, President/CEO, Horizon Goodwill Industries, Hagerstown


  • Kristy Luse, Vice President, Toyota Wellspring Fund, CREATE Foundation, Tupelo
  • Carey Snyder, Owner, Snyder and Company, Tupelo

New York

  • Melinda McTaggart, Director of Historic Property, Schoharie County / Schoharie County Historical Society, Schoharie
  • Bea Nellenback, Development Director, Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Ithaca
  • Martha Ryan, Public and School Liaison, Delaware, Chenango, Madison, Otsego – Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Norwich

North Carolina

  • Amy Ball Braswell, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston-Salem
  • Jamie Carpenter, Downtown Manager, City of Hendersonville, Hendersonville
  • Ricardo Nazario-Colon, Chief Diversity Officer, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee


  • Marla Akridge, Executive Director, Tuscarawas County Economic Development Corporation, Dover
  • Malania Birney, Project Manager, Sunday Creek Horizons, Athens
  • Sam Miller, Development Director, Buckeye Hills Regional Council, Marietta
  • Tasha Werry, Executive Director, BB2C, Marietta


  • Amanda Craig Bradley, Business Outreach Manager, DRIVE, Danville
  • Holly Pilcavage, President/CEO, Coal Creative, Wilkes-Barre
  • Todd Pousley, Neighborhood Revitalization Manager, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania, Scranton

South Carolina

  • Mackenzie Chastain, Probation Supervisor, South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice, Anderson
  • Allison Fowler, Director of Community and Tourism Development, Pickens County, Pickens
  • Kyle Sox, Vice President of Industrial Development, OneSpartanburg, Inc., Spartanburg


  • De’Ossie D. Dingus Sr., Founder/Executive Director, Alliance House Community Coalition, Knoxville
  • Randy Heady, Mayor, Jackson County, Gainesboro
  • Tim Hendrick, Deputy Director / Environmental Planner, East Tennessee Development District, Alcoa


  • Emily Kate Bowen, Dental Assisting Program Director, Mountain Empire Community College, Big Stone Gap
  • Kim Davis, Executive Director, Friends of Southwest Virginia / Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation / ‘Round the Mountain Artisan Network, Abingdon
  • Robert Kell, New Economy Program Manager, Appalachian Voices, Norton

West Virginia

  • Jody Gooslin, Cofounder, Appalachia Made Co., Williamson
  • Jennifer Griggs, Supportive Services Program Director, Randolph County Housing Authority, Elkins
  • Donna Hoylman Peduto, Executive Director, West Virginia Public Education Collaborative, Morgantown
  • Jamila Jones, Founder & President, Innovative Community Solutions, Martinsburg

Upon completion of the program, fellows are automatically part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Alumni Network, a peer-to-peer working group of experts helping foster collaborative solutions that will build a stronger future for Appalachia.

“Congratulations to the Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows Class of 2022-2023 on being selected to participate in the ARC’s innovative and comprehensive series of learning seminars,” said ARC States’ Co-Chair Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland. “I am confident that their combined knowledge of the Appalachian region and expertise in their respective professional fields will enable them to effectively collaborate with their peers.”

To learn more about the program, visit: To meet the 2022-2023 class of fellows and learn more about how they are working to transform their Appalachian communities, visit:

About the Appalachian Leadership Institute 
The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive regional leadership training program developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact. Learn more at