CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 34 new graduates who completed Leadership Carteret this year. They received their certificates March 18, during graduation ceremonies at The Country Club of the Crystal Coast in Pine Knoll Shores.
The program is an intensive 10-week undertaking that is designed to build stronger community leaders.
Several members of the Leadership Carteret Class of 2015 have Bogue Banks connections. The new graduates include: Heather Edrington, Cindy Messer and Abby Southerland, all of Emerald Isle Realty; Shannon Wilson-Chandler and Jay White, both of Bluewater Real Estate; Felicia Hernandez of Atlantic Beach Realty; Rich Johnson of Cottage Tender; Matias Lagos of Spinnaker’s Reach Realty; Mike Meyer of Emerald Owl Productions; and Sarah Williams of the Town of Pine Knoll Shores.
Emerald Isle Realty’s Cindy Messer commented: “This was an amazing experience, and I am sad that the class has ended.”
“Carteret County shines brighter,” said Bluewater Real Estate’s Jay White. “We have learned so much and we will pass it along for years to come; I already have. I appreciate being allowed to participate in such a cherished chamber tradition.”
Rich Johnson, a resident of Atlantic Beach, wrote: “Excellent program – thank you for the endless work you all did to create this experience for us.”
The keynote speaker at the Leadership Carteret graduation luncheon was John Capps of Morehead City, who is a nationally acclaimed motivational speaker.
“I salute you for completing the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Carteret program, and I salute you for your commitment to get connected and to build relationships,” he told the graduates.
“Leadership is a ‘work in progress,’ and it’s forever an ongoing opportunity,” Capps said.
Chamber Chair Kerry Youngblood, president of Carteret Community College, challenged the Leadership Carteret graduates to get involved with the Chamber and to stay involved.
“There is not a better mechanism through which to reach the business community than the Chamber of Commerce,” Dr. Youngblood said. “The chamber is all about relationships.”
Wendy Routson of the Emerald Isle Beach & Pool Club and a member of the Leadership Carteret Steering Committee, said: “During the course of the program, we spent a lot of time on Bogue Banks, visiting the attractions and hearing from the movers and shakers.”
Participants had an opportunity to hear from town officials, including Mayor Eddie Barber and Frank Rush of Emerald Isle, Mayor Trace Cooper of Atlantic Beach, Brian Kramer of Pine Knoll Shores and Chris Seaburg of Cedar Point.
Other speakers included Greg “Rudi” Rudolph of the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, historian Paxon Holz, author Jay Barnes, Atlantic Beach banksologist Cap’n Jim Willis and Joan Lamson, former mayor of Pine Knoll Shores.
Highlights included a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium, demonstrations at Fort Macon State Park and boarding the vessels at the Coast Guard station at Fort Macon.
On March 17, the class members enjoyed an overnight beach retreat in Indian Beach, with beach house accommodations courtesy of Bluewater Real Estate.