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WILMA's Leadership Institute

WILMA’s Leadership Institute gives up-and-coming leaders a unique opportunity to learn from top leaders in the region, visit a range of local companies, and serve as each others’ personal board of directors.

Individuals can apply themselves, and companies are encouraged to nominate high-potential leaders in their organizations.

To see the program's agenda, including skills topics, site locations, and guest speakers, CLICK HERE.

The nine-month program starts in January and meets once a month. The group will meet once a month from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. January-September, except for the January session will be a full day session, 8 a.m.- 6.p.m.

Eligibility: Any female resident of New Hanover, Brunswick or Pender counties is eligible for the program. You can apply yourself or nominate a person you know from your organization. Women from a range of backgrounds including large companies, small companies, nonprofits and government agencies are encouraged to apply.

This year 25 women were selected to be part of the class.

A panel of judges will review all of the submitted applications. If selected as a finalist, the applicant will be notified the first week in November to schedule an in-person interview with the selection committee, which will choose the final class.

If an applicant is accepted by the judges, the cost of the nine-month program is $2,150. The Leadership Institute has some scholarships available that are underwritten by our sponsors. If you work for a nonprofit or have other special circumstances that affect your organization's ability to cover the tuition costs, there is a place on the application to explain. Payment is due by January 15.

FOCUS AREAS INCLUDE: Understanding Communication Styles | Leveraging Your Strengths | Thinking Strategically | Motivating Teams & Managing Conflict | Negotiating Techniques | Growing your Network | Selling Skills & Techniques

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Chip Mahan, Live Oak Bank CEO | Michele Holbrook, Corning Plant Manager | Dana Cook, Julia's Florist Owner | John Gizdic, NHRMC CEO | Bill Saffo, Wilmington Mayor | Julie Wilsey, ILM Airport Director | Kim Bankston, GE Hitachi VP of Human Resources 

The Institute is part of WILMA’s Women to Watch Leadership Initiative, whose mission is to help develop more women leaders in the Wilmington area.



Here's a snapshot of the program's alumni.


Learn about WILMA Leadership Institute’s impact from several of its recent graduates:

Vera Newkirk, Compliance and Privacy Officer for New Hanover Regional Medical Center

April England, Public Relations Assistant for Duke Energy

Katie Gloe, Product Line Manufacturing Engineer for Corning Inc.


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