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The mission of the Virginia Rural Leadership Institute (VRLI) is to retain, attract, and develop rural Virginians into innovative, responsible, and civic minded leaders who build strong communities.

2024 Sessions and Dates

Session 1 - Southside Virginia

May 22, 23 & 24

Session 2 - Southwest Virginia

July 17, 18 & 19

Session 3 - Middle Peninsula & Northern Neck 

September 11, 12 & 13

Session 4 - Shenandoah Valley

November 14, 15 & 16 (Note: Thurs. - Sat.)

2024 VRLI Cohort

Twenty-eight high-achieving individuals representing 24 rural localities have been chosen for the leadership program’s third year. Learn more about this cohort's members below!

Shanetta Beck, City of Emporia

Community and Economic Development Director, City of Emporia


Lincoln Boykin, Lancaster County

Director of Affiliate Foundations, Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond


Jonathan Comer, Page County

SVP - Commercial Lender, The First Bank & Trust Company


J. David Conmy, City of Richmond

Deputy County Administrator & Economic Development Director, Sussex County


Michael Crouse, Roanoke County

Business Development Manager, ECS, Mid-Atlantic


Matthew Culbreath, Dinwiddie

Director of Planning and Zoning, City of Emporia


Brian Falin, Wise County

Industrial Development Supervisor/Executive Director, Wise County


Heather Fay, Botetourt County

Business Advisor + Regional Program Director, Greater Roanoke & NRV Small Business Development Center


Brandy Flint, Rockbridge County

Director of Economic Development, Rockbridge County


Andrew Franzyshen, Dinwiddie County

Director of Environment, Housing, and Economic Development, Crater Planning

District Commission


Ian Ginger, City of Richmond

Economic Development Program Director, George Washington Regional Commission


Gerald Goad, Hillsville

Clerk of the Circuit Court, Carroll County


Jess Gray, Chatham

CEO, Gray’s Lambscaping LLC


Matt Herron, Christiansburg

Business Development Manager, Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services


James Houchins, Patrick County

Director of Tourism and Marketing, Patrick County


Katelyn Jordan, Pungo

Local & State Advocacy Specialist, Regulatory Coordinator, Virginia Farm Bureau


Kellie Lipscomb, Dinwiddie

Drug Abuse Treatment Specialist, Federal Correctional Institution


Brooke Love, Carroll County

Tourism Director, Carroll County


Jacob McCaleb, Warsaw

Business Services Representative, Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board


Stephanie Norris, City of Richmond

Senior Research Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond


Kristen Pudlow, Prince George County

Deputy County Administrator, Prince George County


Holley Scheffel, Bedford County

Business Programs Coordinator, Bedford County


Giles Scott, Warsaw

Youth Program Influencer, Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board


Jennifer Stevens, South Boston

President and CEO, Virginia Ed Strategies


Josh Taylor, Alleghany

Executive Director, Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism


Tara Tuck, Clarksville

Economic Development & Tourism, Town of Clarksville


Jack Wall, Floyd

Board Chair & Senior Executive, Wall Residences


Zachary Whitlow, City of Richmond

Community Vitality Program Administrator, Department of Housing & Community Development


Please Contact:

Cindy Hosmer

Virginia Rural Leadership Institute

2024 Annual Sponsors

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Community Impact Projects

Designed over the 4 sessions, Community Impact Projects are the capstone of a VRLI Cohort Members experience and provide tangible impact in rural communities. This ongoing return on investment and pledge by cohort members to better their communities proves VRLI’s model and promise for rural Virginia. Learn more about these projects of our alumni below!

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