May 20, 2023

For Immediate Release

May 17, 2023

For more information, contact:

Anne Moore-Sparks
Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce                        
150 Slayton Avenue                                                                       
Danville, VA 24540
Phone:  434.836.6990

[Danville, VA] – The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to announce the graduation of the 2022-2023 Leadership Southside class. The class will be recognized at the Chamber’s Annual Awards Dinner on Wednesday, May 24 at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.

Leadership Southside is the Dan River Region’s premiere leadership development program for the business, education, public, and nonprofit sectors.

Approaching its 31st year, Leadership Southside boasts over 550 alumni. The Chamber is proud to include this year’s Class of 2023 graduates in this alliance of leaders who are striving to move both their careers and their communities forward.

Session topics include leading a team, conflict resolution, nonprofit board leadership, communication skills, crisis leadership, equitable leadership, presentation skills, purpose-driven leadership and transformational leadership. Participants also traveled to Richmond for Chamber Day at the Capitol to hear from and engage with members of the General Assembly.

Here’s what a few graduates had to say about the program:

“My perception of leadership has changed big time. I think we assume that if we don't have a leadership job title, then we aren't leaders. That is so far from the truth. Leaders are needed at every level of an organization and a community, and they need to be encouraged to lead from where they are.”

  • Austin Bunn [AOSS Ventures]

“My favorite part about Leadership Southside was the people I met, both classmates and presenters. The various life experiences and perspectives of people from all walks of life being shared was invaluable.”

  • Lieutenant Michelle Wilkerson [Danville Sheriff’s Office]

Congratulations to the following 25 graduates who successfully completed the program:



Adrian Badgett

Pittsylvania County Public Library, Gretna Branch

Allison Petty

American National Bank & Trust Company

Alyssa Turner

River District Association

Amanda Hylton

Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

April Neal

Danville Fire Department

Austin Bunn

AOSS Ventures

Blanche Wilkerson

Danville Sheriff's Office

Brandi Turner

Sovah Pulmonology Clinic

Brandie Kendrick

Danville Pittsylvania Community Services

Courtney Dixon

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company

Tonitta McNeal

Averett University

Gregory Hairston

Danville Family YMCA

Hannah Barker

Center for Early Success

Irving Perez

American National Bank & Trust Company

Jacob Taylor

Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

Johnny West

City of Danville Police Department

Elli Whitehead

River District Consulting Group

Lauren Parks

Blush and Glow Spa

Laurie Weaver

City of Danville, Information Technology Department

Quincey Logan

Epic Health Partners

Thomas Clark

Supply Resources, Inc.

Tracey McCall

Movement Mortgage

Vanessa Scearce

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Danville Area

Jessica Rose Hayes

Epic Health Partners

Ridge Williamson

Negril, Inc.

Leadership Southside is a ten-month program that typically meets on the third Tuesday of each month from August through May. Applications are open now for the 2023-2024 program year. Those interested can apply at Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 16, 2023. Only complete applications will be considered.

The Chamber has contracted with Rachel Covington to lead and facilitate the program. Rachel previously served as the Senior Director of Member Services for the Chamber, and led Leadership Southside as part of her role. For more information about Leadership Southside, please contact Rachel at

The Chamber is grateful to its Innovation Partners and other regional funders, without whom this program would not be possible.

The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce accelerates business growth by connecting its members to dynamic resources and networks. The Chamber’s number one goal is to help area businesses of all sizes to grow and prosper.