Letter from our Board of Trustees President, Pam Rosenthal

It's hard to believe that it's been nearly two years since I've had the privilege of serving as Board Chair of Leadership Sandy Springs.  It has been a joy to get to know many of the alumni, meet new class members and work hand-in-hand with our amazing staff.  As I personally wind down my two-year term, the organization is embarking on a tremendous milestone...our 30th class!
Our first class, the Class of 1987, started with 17 members. Today, we have over 700 alumni. Over the last thirty years, we have seen many positive enhancements in our program such as Youth Leadership Sandy Springs, Volunteer for a Better Sandy Springs (coming up on April 22), noteworthy community discussions and enriched class curriculum. I'm sure each of you could name an element of your experience that was most meaningful to you, which is why LSS has been and will continue to be a relevant and significant mainstay in the Sandy Springs community.
What better way to celebrate then to come together with your former classmates, friends and fellow alumni at the "Cheers to 30 Years" party on Friday, June 2 at Heritage Sandy Springs. It will be a night filled with friendship, camaraderie, food and fun and we hope you will join us!

Volunteer for a Better Sandy Springs is Almost Here! Saturday, April 22, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Earth Day

Join us on Earth Day for our 15th annual Volunteer For A Better Sandy Springs Day, rain or shine. 
We kick off at North Springs Charter High School at 8 a.m.  with a free breakfast and T-shirt, while supplies last, for registered participants. 
From there, volunteers will split up to work at 22 job sites including local nonprofits, civic organizations, public schools, and parks.  Through past VBSS days, Sandy Springs has received materials and volunteer hours worth more than $600,000 in city-wide improvements.
All ages are welcome and we encourage the involvement of community groups, corporate teams, and school groups. Get to know others in your community while completing much-needed projects for local nonprofits and schools.
For questions, contact vbss@leadershipsandysprings.com.

Register online here  

Cheers to 30 Years

We had so much fun at Carolyn Axt's retirement party that we're going wrap Leadership Sandy Springs 30th year with a blow-out celebration featuring great food from Slopes Barbecue, live music and more! 
There will be opportunities to buy tables and even class competitions for most attendees.
Watch for more details coming soon.

Third Annual Live Learn Lead was a success  

Leadership San dy Springs successfully hosted its third annual Live Leard lead featuring Lee Fisher, who  gave an enlightening and humorous presentation on the secret sauce of making a city a better and more robust place.  From connecting with the millennial demographic to fostering trust in the community ("Make change at the speed of trust"), Fisher provided inspiration and data showing encouraging dividends when particular 
investments are made in the community.  His presentation illustrated CEOs for Cities' signature work: gathering people who want to improve their cities around the same table and challenging them to make timely, meaningful progress. 

Class of 2017 Update

Regional Day
The 2017 class enjoyed a tour of Georgia Public Broadcasting.  They heard from key representatives at Georgia Power, MARTA, Atlanta Regional Commission and PCIDs.  
The film industry in Georgia - and Sandy 

Springs - was a topic of much interest.  We continue our discussions about "Positive Leadership," our community leadership training e-book.


12@12 at Graphic Packaging

Twelve LSS alumni donors enjoyed lunch in March with Graphic Packaging CEO Mike Doss.  They learned about the company's worldwide production as well as their sustainability and community efforts.  
LSS' popular luncheon with a local CEO will return in a few months. If you are an LSS donor, you will receive an email with details. The first 12 to respond are in!

Youth Leadership  Sandy Springs Goes Directly to Jail...and the Indian Consulate...and the River

Youth Leadership Sandy Springs is headed into the programming home stretch. Recently, students were treated to lunch at the Indian Consulate with Consul General Nagesh Singh during Economy Day, which also included a trip to First Data Corp.'s innovation lab and mock job interviews with 12 business executives.  
For Public Safety Day, they toured ChatComm, the 911 call center, heard from the SWAT team, canine unit, undercover drug officers, the police department's victim advocate and toured the Fulton County jail on Rice Street.  Next, they'll be wading the Chattahoochee River and playing foot golf on top of one million cubic yards of rotting garbage for Environmental Day.


Alumni Spotlight 
Neva Rountree and Ludi Villanueva

To celebrate the progress and accomplishments of 30 years of LSS, we are highlighting alumni and significant individuals responsible for the success of the organization during this anniversary year. In this enewsletter, we invited two key players in the founding of LSS: Neva Dixon Rountree and Dr. Ludovico (Ludi) Villanueva, to share their insights and advice.  Read more for full article.
Graduation and Alumni Awards

We celebrate the Class of 2017 on  May 18th, at 5:30 p.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.  If you would like to join us for dinner, please email 

Alumni Recognition:  It is time to nominate outstanding alumni for the Carolyn Axt Alumni Recognition Award.  This year, our alumni award winners will be acknowledged at our 30th Anniversary Party.  If you have an alumnus to nominate, please email catherine@leadershipsandysprings.org.  Nominees must be from the Class of 2012 or earlier.  

Check out our Calendar
Never miss another LSS event!  Go to our new  calendar webpage  (under the Events heading)  and click the down arrow  above the month  to download all of our events to your calendar.

Alumni Updates

Let us know when LSS Alumni are promoted or receive recognition so we can share with everyone.

John Sours (1987) is teaching courses in Civic Law as part of the Masters in Public Administration program at Reinhardt University and  also does mediation. His contact information is 404.510.4014,  jandcsours@comcast.net.

Shannon Hassler (2012) is beginning a new role with Heidrick  & Struggles  April 10 while k eeping her role with the Financial Officers Practice but expanding it to also oversee the Board & CEO Practice. Her new title will be Practice Management Director, Board, CEO, and CFO Practices.

Teri Cloud (2015) announces her firm Babush Nieman Kornman & Johnson merged with Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, 5909 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Suite 800, Atlanta, GA 30328. Her contact information is  770.261.544, Fx:  770.261.1901, Mobile: 404.281.9295,  tcloud@cricpa.com.

Mark Durbin (2016) is now Operations Manager for Professional Book Distributors (PBD) in Duluth. 

Youth Leadership Sandy Springs

Hill Belfi (2015) of Riverwood International Charter School was recently selected by the Daughters of the American Revolution to receive t he Chapter's Good Citizen award and scholarship. DAR award nominees are selected by the student's teachers and peers for demonstrating DAR's outstanding qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.  Belfi wrote a compelling essay on this year's topic "Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It: How do the combined actions of many good citizens keep our nation moving forward?" She was featured in this Sandy Springs Patch article.  

Leslie Organista (2015) a Riverwood International Charter School student
been helping give back the good help she received as a child by tutoring young students weekly after school at the Sandy Springs Mission (run by Executive Director and LSS Class of 2011 alumni Felix Lora). She was recently featured in this Neighbor article. 

Matthew Cooper (2015) has received an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy and will join the Class of 2021 in June.  He is currently a senior at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.

Brooks Langley (2016), a Mount Vernon Presbyterian School senior, will be playing football at the University of Virginia next fall.

Sophie Blasberg (2016) and a friend raised $124,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Georgia Chapter.  Competing in the society's six-week fundraising challenge Student of the Year, the two started their campaign by successfully asking Falcons owner Arthur Blank for $50,000.  Sophie is a senior at Pace Academy.