Are you interested in starting, expanding, or rebuilding a business? You don't want to miss our Thread Capital webinar! For more information, see below.
Off to a Great Start in 2019
Leadership Alumni,

Happy New Year! We are looking forward to a fantastic 2019 filled with new training and community engagement opportunities, alumni engagement events, and a new team member. Please follow the Rural Center's newsletter and our alumni newsletter for important updates and happenings.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to our newest member of the Leadership Team, Miles Kirksey. Miles began his role as engagement coordinator on December 1, 2018.
Miles is originally from Morganton, NC and is a graduate of Appalachian State University. Prior to relocating to Raleigh, Miles called Western North Carolina home for 24 years. For the past year Miles served as a Family Services Coordinator with Habitat for Humanity of Durham, where he was responsible for aiding low income families in their journey towards home-ownership. Miles demonstrates a passion for service and is eager to begin working with rural communities across North Carolina.
We are very excited to have Miles join our team! In his role as engagement coordinator, he will help the Rural Center expand our leadership alumni engagement and program offerings. We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our leadership team so we can continue our important work supporting leaders in North Carolina's rural communities.

My best,
Bronwyn Lucas
Director of Leadership
Alumni Webinar with Thread Capital 

Thu, Jan 24, 2019
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM   
If you or someone you know is interested in starting, expanding, or rebuilding a business, make sure to tune in!

In the spring, the Rural Center launched Thread Capital, a nonprofit subsidiary of the Rural Center. Thread Capital provides loans up to $50,000 to entrepreneurs in all 100 counties. Thread Capital works one-on-one with small business owners to listen to their dreams, understand their objectives, and help them create a path to success. For more information on Thread Capital, please register for this webinar.

Our next Homegrown Leaders training, in partnership with Appalachian Regional Commission & local Councils of Government, is March 4-6, 2019 in Asheville, NC . The training is open to people who live or work in the following counties: Transylvania, Henderson, Buncombe, Madison, Yancey, Mitchell, and Avery.

Homegrown Leaders is a regional leadership and economic development training that develops and supports highly-skilled, highly-motivated leaders who are committed to building regional collaboration across multi-county regions in the state. The application deadline is January 25. 2019 .

We hope you will share this with your networks or consider coming as a refresher course for REDI.

REDI 2019
The Rural Center is accepting applications for the 29th class of the Rural Economic Development Institute (REDI). Applications are available on our website . The dates for REDI 2019 are: April 2-4, May 7-9, and June 4-6. The application deadline is January 31, 2019 .

Know a rural leader who wants to make meaningful impact in their community? Help us spread the word!

Grant Opportunity for REDI Alumni
The NC Rural Center is partnering with BB&T, to award four mini-grants of up to $5,000 each to a REDI alumni's organization. Funding will be awarded to organizations whose projects directly address one of the four building blocks of economic development; business development, workforce development, physical infrastructure, and social and civic infrastructure. In order to qualify for funding, your organization must secure a 1:1 cash match. 

The application deadline is January 31, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact Bronwyn Lucas, director of leadership, at  or 919-250-4314. 
Invest in Leadership
At the end of 2018, we put out a call to our partners to invest in rural leadership. Thank you to those who have heeded our call! To date we have raised $4,400 but we still need your help.

For 30 years, we have worked to nurture our state's rural leaders, giving them the tools, resources, & supports they need to build a better tomorrow. Your donation will help us expand our rural leadership training throughout the state, connecting more rural leaders with the tools and supports they need to be successful.

Save the Date: Rural Day 2019
We are excited to announce that Rural Day 2019 will be held on March 26. We are planning for our largest Rural Day yet, so be on the lookout for more information regarding registration next week.
In addition to our Rural Day programming, we will also be hosting a  Leadership Alumni Gathering the evening prior from 5-7pm on March 25  at the Rural Center. Stay tuned for more details to follow. We hope you can join us as we kick off Rural Day 2019!
Faith in Rural Communities Initiative
Following the success of the Faith in Rural Communities Initiative 2018 pilot program, the Rural Center will be launching a series of workshops in spring 2019. They will be focused on building the church leader’s familiarity and skills in Asset-Based Community Development. These workshops are made possible through the generous support of The Duke Endowment. 

Churches who attend one of these workshops will be invited to apply for intensive nine-month coaching to dive deeper into the unique assets and opportunities of their church and community. Each church participating in the nine-month coaching will develop a long-term action plan for addressing a community need and a seed grant to launch that plan. 

If you or your faith community is interested in these workshops, please contact Heather Kilbourne, Faith in Rural Communities Program Manager, at for more information.
Additional Training Opportunities
ReCONNECT Rural and Urban Forum: Call for Communities
Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI)

Building Your Brand with Intent
Sandhills Community College, SBC

NC Sales and Use Tax Workshop
Catawba Valley Community College

We want to hear from you!
Please share your feedback about our newsletter and any additional information you want to see in future editions.

Email Miles Kirksey at
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