Alumni Spotlight


Alumni Spotlights


Showing Results for Tag: 2008



Skip Skinner, Class of 2008

Skip Skinner
Executive Director (Retired), LENOWISCO Planning Commission 
Duffield, VA

How has your Lead Virginia experience influenced or shaped you as a leader?
Lead Virginia has provided me with a situational awareness of my home region and other regions across the state and a better understanding of how our economy interacts with the rest of the Commonwealth. This is something I always knew, but when you travel to a region and physically put your "boots on the ground", you can you fully appreciate the issues and speak directly to leaders which are being impacted.

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Caryn Foster Durham, Class of 2008

Caryn Foster Durham

Chief Executive Officer /Owner, 
Charles Ryan Associates
Richmond, VA

How has your Lead Virginia experience influenced or shaped you as a leader?
My Lead Virginia experience helped me better define the type of leader I wanted to become. While I was a proven and established leader when entering the program, I was not an evolved leader.

Acceptance of the desire to grow beyond where I was as a leader allowed me to put a plan in place to achieve success. Further, the understanding that growth did not mean I was failing was freeing. While my evolution is not complete, I am a stronger and more empathetic leader as a result of my Lead Virginia Experience.

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Wanda Jeffress, Class of 2008

Wanda Jeffress

Vice President
S.L. Jeffress Company, Inc.
South Boston

What is new and exciting with you now or since your LEAD VIRGINIA class year?

Among the many exciting occurrences in my life since becoming a Class of 2008 LEAD VIRGINIA graduate, the most rewarding experience is that of obtaining licensure as a Virginia real estate agent. My LEAD VIRGINIA experience introduced me to exceptional leaders from the corporate arena, however, I was equally influenced by classmates, alumni, and presenters who are entrepreneurs and small business owners. In addition to sharing responsibilities of operating a family-owned funeral home, I truly enjoy the responsibilities associated with being self-employed as a Virginia realtor. Home ownership in the southern region of Virginia has been my concern for many years, and now providing solutions to that problem is my passion. When I obtained my license in May 2011, it was during a period when both the housing market and the overall economy, were within what was defined as recession. Against many odds and amongst many questions of why I would even consider entering the real estate market at its lowest point, not only have I been successful in serving the sale and purchase needs of clients at all homeownership levels, but I absolutely enjoy what I do. My efforts have been successful. In 2012 I was involved in $1.9 million in sales, and thus far for 2013, I have surpassed the $2 million mark. I have been told that I have encouraged and inspired others within my community to persevere, and to recognize how important it is to re-create ourselves and enhance our marketability without regard to age, race, or gender, and especially locality, even when times are tough. My desire in life is that neither I, nor others in southern Virginia become a statistic. Hopefully, others within my region will share my belief that continuing education in any stage in life is the key to economic stability.

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