Leadership Fairfax Chief Gets State Post


(Thursday, March 15, 2007 7:56 AM EDT)

LEAD Virginia, a non-profit education program that brings business, government and non-profit leaders together from across the commonwealth, has a new leader: Susan Horne.

Horne recently took over as president and CEO of the organization, after spending 15 years as president of Leadership Fairfax, a similar regional program.

“I'm so looking forward to this opportunity,” Horne said in an interview. “I'm a graduate of LEAD Virginia's second class, and I appreciated so much the opportunity to peel back the various layers of Virginia and appreciate and empathize with each region and see what kinds of obstacles they're up against.”

Participants of LEAD Virginia attend seven monthly program sessions, each located in a different region of the state. Through in-depth analysis, debates, on-site field studies and experiential activities, the program covers topics such as technology, economic development, demographics, growth management and quality of life.

Horne is not just a graduate of this program, but also is one of its creators. Confident that this was the time to have a leadership program that addresses issues regionally, Horne joined other Virginia community leadership directors and joined LEAD Virginia's steering committee, which eventually became the program's board of directors.

The founding president and CEO, Susan Timmons, was hired in fall 2004 and the first session began in April 2005.

“LEAD Virginia is a good way for people to learn the scope of challenges, changes and trends from all standpoints, such as the economy, education, the workforce, transportation and movement of goods of services,” Horne said. “It was a good point in time for people to delve into those things on a regional level.”

With the third class of participants starting in April, a lot of Horne's energy for the next several months will be focused on them. But for the long-term, Horne wants to build on the base Timmons set for the program.

“I will grow the wonderful foundation that Susan has started,” Horne said. “I will work very hard to build sustainability among relationships, raise LEAD Virginia's profile across the state and ensure that the experience of going through the class is unparalleled in terms of how it shines a spotlight on the richness and the incredible opportunities here.”

Susan Horne, president of Leadership Fairfax, has been tapped to run LEAD Virginia.

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