• Executive Academy

  • What is the Chamber's Executive Academy?

    Formerly known as Dynamic Leadership Wilson, the Chamber Executive Academy introduces today’s business leaders to the dynamics that make Wilson a unique place to live and work.  During the 10 month program, participants get a first-hand account of the issues facing our community.  They form lifelong bonds with peers across Wilson’s diverse industry sectors.  They gain an appreciation for the challenges other professionals face in our market, and become trusted representatives of their organizations out in the community.

    By the time participants “pass the torch” to the next class, they are more firmly connected, deeply engaged, and better informed leaders who add immense value to their organizations - and to Wilson.

    How is this program different?

    The Academy is about more than equipping leaders to succeed in Wilson; it’s also about improving the community than enables our organizations to prosper.  Each Academy class takes on a community service project designed to leave a lasting, positive impact on Wilson.  Many of the projects initiated by past Academy and Dynamic Leadership classes continue to benefit our community today.

    Who participates?

    The Academy is open to any employee of a chamber member in good standing.  However, members should understand that the program is a COMMITMENT and an INVESTMENT.  Members should only refer employees who have demonstrated leadership potential and represent the very best their organization has offer, especially those whose career aspirations include a long-term stay in Wilson.  Both newcomers and Wilson natives will come away with a better understanding of our community

    Past participants have included CEOs, senior managers, nonprofit executives, superintendents, politicians, and other leaders with significant responsibilities.  The reputation of the Academy program is entirely dependent upon recruiting participants who fully embrace the opportunity as a way to grow personally and professionally.

    Each class includes NO MORE than 20 participants, selected on a first-come, first-served basis. 

    How does the program work?

    The Academy begins with an off-site executive retreat in September that focuses on team chemistry, assessing and enhancing individual leadership skills, and selecting the class project.  After the retreat, the class meets for a full day, once a month, to immerse itself in one of eight “session” days.  Each session is an immersive experience devoted to a dynamic that contributes to Wilson’s unique identity:  agriculture, education, economic development, healthcare systems, judicial system, media and cultural arts, local government, and state government.  Each session day also includes an opportunity for the class to collaborate on their chosen project.

    What is the "Passing the Torch" Reception?

    The “Passing the Torch” Reception is the culmination of one class’ progress, and the beginning of the next class’ journey.  Held in June, the reception serves as a joint graduation and introduction ceremony.  We invite our members, Dynamic Leadership and Academy alumni, participants and their families to attend.

    At the reception, the President’s Torch is symbolically passed from one class to the next as a reminder of the trust we place in the leaders who participate in the Academy.  The President’s Torch is kept permanently at the Chamber, and is inscribed with a description of the most recent class project.

    How much does the program cost?

    Friends of the Chamber are invited to participate in the program for $1,000 (inclusive of all meals and materials).  Members at the Standard tier and above receive a $200 tuition discount.  Our Diamond-level Chamber Champions are eligible to receive one FREE participant per class.  A $150 deposit is required at the time an application is submitted.  The full balance is due by the Executive Retreat date.

    When are applications accepted?

    CLICK HERE to download an application.  Applications are accepted every year between April 1 and May 31.  Each class is limited to 20 participants, and applications will not be accepted after May 31.  We will confirm acceptance with you by June 5, so that you can prepare to attend the Passing the Torch Reception in mid-June.  At that time, we'll also inform you of the date of the Executive Retreat, which typically takes place in mid-September.

    How can I submit a request to have my project considered by the Executive Academy class?

    Every Academy class selects a community service project from requests submitted by area nonprofits.  CLICK HERE to download a request form.  Note that only nonprofit organizations that are members of the Wilson Chamber of Commerce are eligible to apply.

    Have more questions?

    Contact our Membership Coordinator and Academy administrator, Tyler Mayes, at 252-237-0165, or email tmayes@wilsonncchamber.com.