On September 26, 2023 the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced the 40 fellows who were selected for the 2023-2024 class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute. The fifth annual class of fellows were selected through a competitive process from public, private, and non-profit leaders across the 13 Appalachian states. Annette Patterson, President of The Advancement Foundation, was one of two fellows selected from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Annette founded The Advancement Foundation in 2007 to advance her passion for business and community development. Under her leadership, The Advancement Foundation developed Virginia’s largest business program and competition, The Gauntlet, which has served nearly 1,000 entrepreneurs, leveraged the expertise of over 300 industry leaders, and captured over $8M in resources to support business and community development.
The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive leadership and economic development training opportunity for people who live and/or work in Appalachia and are passionate about helping their communities thrive. Fellows will participate in an extensive training curriculum developed by the ARC in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Jr. School of Public Policy and Public Affairs; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact, LLC. The all-inclusive, nine-month program runs from October to July and includes skill-building seminars, best practice reviews, field visits during six separate sessions across the Appalachian Region, and a capstone graduation event held in Washington, D.C.