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Class of 2018

Convening October 13-17, in Little Rock, Arkansas
In Memoriam, Lori Moore
Lori Moore, SLC 2007-2018

Lori served as the CALS program manager since its inception in 2007 and devoted much of her career with the Southern Office of The Council of State Governments to the CALS program, ensuring that CALS scholars received a rich and rewarding experience developing their leadership skills.

Program Liaison

Lily Schieber
Lily Schieber

Programs and Marketing Manager

SLC Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills
CALS is a leadership development program — not a conference — that provides a unique opportunity to hone your leadership skills.

CALS embodies the Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments’ mission of championing excellence in state government and providing nonpartisan forums for state officials who might rarely cross paths to share ideas. In addition to developing and enhancing leadership skills, the program provides participants a unique opportunity to foster connections, engage in conversations and take part in sessions designed to explore individual boundaries and perceptions.

The Southern Office of The Council of State Governments and the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) have a long history of providing leadership training opportunities to state elected officials, dating back to an exclusive relationship – 1987 to 2001 – with the prestigious Center for Creative Leadership, located in North Carolina. The Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills (CALS), inaugurated in 2007, continues in that tradition of providing state elected officials the opportunity to attend one of the most comprehensive leadership programs in the nation.

Who's eligible?

New and mid-career state executive, legislative and judicial branch officials serving in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

How do I apply?

To be considered for the 2018 CALS program, candidates must submit:

  • An application form
  • A cover letter expressing why the applicant should be considered as a candidate for the CALS program
  • A biographical summary
  • Two letters of recommendation from state government colleagues
    For legislative applicants, a letter of recommendation from your chamber or caucus leader is encouraged

The deadline to apply is July 31, 2018.

What’s the cost?

Full scholarships are provided to those selected, covering the cost of tuition, travel, lodging and meals.

Where can I learn more?

For specific inquiries, please call (404) 633-1866 or email slcreginfo@csg.org.

University of Arkansas System and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
Little Rock, Arkansas | October 14-18, 2017

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The 2017 CALS program included leaders from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. The training sessions focused on essential topics such as leadership development, ethics, interpersonal exchanges, and communication skills.

Participants convened at the Old Statehouse for the closing dinner. The closing keynote address on the importance of leadership in all levels of government and lessons from history was presented by Richard Norton Smith, celebrated historian and author.

Class of 2017

Representative
Kenneth B. Ferguson

Arkansas

Representative
Lanny Fite

Arkansas

Representative
DeAnn Vaught

Arkansas

Representative
Randy Fine

Florida

Representative
Rhonda Burnough

Georgia

Representative
Scott Hilton

Georgia

Representative
Sheila Nelson

Georgia

Representative
Abe Hudson

Mississippi

Representative
Courtney Allen Curtis

Missouri

Representative
Bobbie Richardson

North Carolina

Representative
Rhonda Baker

Oklahoma

Senator
Micheal Bergstrom

Oklahoma

Representative
Claudia Griffith

Oklahoma

Representative
Tammy West

Oklahoma

Judge
Cassandra M. Williams

Oklahoma County
Oklahoma

Representative
Beth Bernstein

South Carolina

Representative
Patsy Hazlewood

Tennessee

Mr. Scott Sloan
Chief of Staff and General Counsel
Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Tennessee

Representative
Jarvis Johnson

Texas

University of Arkansas System and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
Little Rock, Arkansas | September 24-28, 2016

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The 2016 CALS program included leaders from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. The training sessions focused on essential topics such as leadership development, social media practices, interpersonal exchanges, and communication skills.

Participants convened at the Old Statehouse for the closing dinner. The closing keynote address on pursuing success and the importance of critical decision making was delivered by Commander John Herrington, retired United States Naval Aviator and former NASA astronaut.

Class of 2016

Representative
Phillip Pettus

Alabama

Representative
Michelle Gray

Arkansas

Representative
Clarke Tucker

Arkansas

Chief Magistrate Judge
Glenda Dowling

Waycross Judicial Circuit
Georgia

Superior Court Judge
William Grady Hamrick III

Coweta Judicial Circuit
Georgia

Representative
Eddie Lumsden

Georgia

Chief Magistrate Judge
Mary Kathryn Moss

Chatham County
Georgia

Representative
Jarvis Dortch

Mississippi

Representative
Donna Pfautsch

Missouri

Representative
Stephen Ross

North Carolina

Mr. Kyle Coulter
Associate Legislative Affairs Director
Office of the Governor
Oklahoma

Representative
Jason Dunnington

Oklahoma

Representative
Casey Murdock

Oklahoma

Representative
Neal Collins

South Carolina

Representative
David Hawk

Tennessee

Speaker Pro Tempore
Bo Watson

Tennessee

Representative
Toni Rose

Texas

Delegate
Jennifer Boysko

Virginia

Delegate
Eileen Filler-Corn

Virginia

University of Arkansas System and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
Little Rock, Arkansas | October 7 - 10, 2015

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The 2015 CALS program included leaders from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Several intense learning sessions focused on essential topics such as leadership development, social media practices, interpersonal exchanges, and communication skills.

Participants convened at the Old Statehouse for the closing dinner. The closing keynote address was delivered by Mr. Nick Tasler, author of Decision Pulse.

Class of 2015

Representative
Adline Clark

Alabama

Representative
Barbara Drummond

Alabama

Representative
Margie Wilcox

Alabama

Representative
Michael John Gray

Arkansas

Representative
Mathew Pitsch

Arkansas

Representative
John Corbett

Georgia

Judge Leslie Jones
Georgia

Representative
Brian Prince

Georgia

Chief Superior Court Judge
Brenda Weaver

Appalachian Judicial Circuit
Georgia

Judge
Yvette Alexander

Baton Rouge City Court
Louisiana

Senator
Sollie Norwood

Mississippi

Representative
Tila Hubrecht

Missouri

Representative
Chad Caldwell

Oklahoma

Representative
Chris Kannady

Oklahoma

Representative
George Young

Oklahoma

Representative
Mary Gail Douglas

South Carolina

Representative
Cameron Sexton

Tennessee

Senator
Reginald Tate

Tennessee

Ms. Sandra Gill
Director of Policy, Consulting and Review
Department of General Services
Virginia

University of Arkansas System and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
Little Rock, Arkansas | October 4 - 7, 2014

Photo Gallery

The 2014 CALS program included leaders from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. Several intense learning sessions focused on essential topics such as leadership development, social media practices, interpersonal exchanges, and communication skills.

Participants convened at the Governor's Mansion for the closing dinner. The closing keynote address was delivered by Commander John Bennett Herrington, retired naval aviator and former NASA astronaut. Commander Herrington spoke to the class about overcoming obstacles and creating pathways to success.

Class of 2014

Representative
Paul Lee

Alabama

Representative
David Whitaker

Arkansas

Judge
Simone Marstiller

First District Court of Appeal
Florida

Judge
Charles E. Auslander III

State Court of Athens-Clarke County
Georgia

Representative
Karen Bennett

Georgia

Representative
Virgil Fludd

Georgia

Representative
Gloria Frazier

Georgia

Judge
Velma Tilley

Bartow County Juvenile Court
Georgia

Chief Magistrate
Robert Turner

Houston County Magistrate Court
Georgia

Senator
Joe Bowen

Kentucky

Senator
Derrick Simmons

Mississippi

Senator
Paul LeVota

Missouri

Senator
Jeff Tarte

North Carolina

Representative
Raumesh Akbari

Tennessee

Representative
Eric Johnson

Texas

Senator
Daniel Hall

West Virginia

University of Arkansas System and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
Little Rock, Arkansas | October 30 - November 3, 2013

Photo Gallery

The 2013 CALS program included leaders from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Several intense learning sessions focused on essential topics such as leadership development, social media practices, interpersonal exchanges, and communication skills.

Participants convened at the Old Statehouse for the closing dinner and were welcomed by Mr. Shane Broadway, former Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives and state Senator, and current director of the Department of Higher Education. The closing keynote address was delivered by Commander John Bennett Herrington, retired naval aviator and former NASA astronaut. Commander Herrington spoke to the class about overcoming obstacles and creating pathways to success.

Class of 2013

Representative
Bill Gossage

Arkansas

Representative
Chris Richey

Arkansas

Representative
Kionne McGhee

Florida

Representative
Richard Jasperse

Georgia

Senator
Rick Jeffares

Georgia

Representative
Lynn Smith

Georgia

Senator
Jesse Stone

Georgia

Representative
Karla Drenner

Georgia

Senator
Troy Brown

Louisiana

Mr. Quentin L. Messer, Jr.
Assistant Secretary
Louisiana Economic Development
Lousiana

Representative
Lataisha Jackson

Mississippi

Senator
Robert Jackson

Mississippi

Representative
Gail McCann Beatty

Missouri

Mr. Luis Toledo
Assistant State Auditor
Office of the State Auditor
North Carolina

Representative
Tommy Hardin

Oklahoma

Senator
Randy McNally

Tennessee

Judge Robert Montgomery
Sullivan County Criminal Court
Tennessee

Representative
Yvonne Davis

Texas

Ms. Andrea Peeks
Deputy Director
Division of Engineering and Buildings
Department of General Services
Virginia

Delegate
Barbara Evans Fleischauer

West Virginia

Georgia State University
Atlanta, Georgia | September 22-26, 2012

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The 2012 class comprised 17 emerging leaders from the legislative, executive and judicial branches of state government from Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia

During the intensive three and a half day program, participants spent classroom time with experts in leadership development in the areas of communication, conflict resolution, consensus building and critical decision making. The CALS program serves as a step toward fostering connections among new and mid-career officials from the Southern region. Ultimately, the mission of the CALS program is to effectively equip leaders with skills to manage obstacles, explore and develop interpersonal skills, build coalitions and improve conflict resolution strategies in a benign and collegial environment.

Class of 2012

Representative
Katrina Jackson

Louisiana

Senator
Albert Butler

Mississippi

Senator
Brice Wiggins

Mississippi

Senator
Maria Chappelle-Nadal

Missouri

Representative
Charles “Chuck” Gatschenberger

Missouri

Representative
Leonard “Jonas” Hughes IV

Missouri

Representative
Harry Warren

North Carolina

Representative-Elect Kevin Matthews
Oklahoma

Judge
Kenneth Watson

District Court, Oklahoma County
Oklahoma

Representative
Mia Butler Garrick

South Carolina

Ms. Kela Thomas
Director
Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services
South Carolina

Senator
Mike Bell

Tennessee

Representative
Joshua Evans

Tennessee

Judge David Bragg
Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court
Tennessee

Representative
Dawnna Dukes

Texas

Senator
Robert “Bob” Beach

West Virginia

Ms. Laura Storm
Circuit Clerk
Jefferson County
West Virginia

Coastal Carolina University
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina | September 24-28, 2011

The 2011 class comprised 18 emerging leaders from the legislative, executive and judicial branches of state government from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

During the intensive three and a half day program, participants spent classroom time with nationally renowned experts in the fields of communication, media and leadership training.  The program curriculum was developed to help participants enhance their leadership capabilities, professional careers, and personal lives through improvements in communication, conflict resolution, consensus building and critical decision-making skills. Through the CALS program, the development of these leadership competencies prepares the rising and mid-career officials to be effective leaders in state government. Another tenet of this premier multi-branch program is that it offers a unique forum for state officials who might rarely cross paths to share ideas.

Class of 2011

Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey
Alabama

Judge Calvin Williams
Fifteenth Judicial Circuit
Alabama

Mr. Steven B. Jones
Deputy Director
Department of Human Services
Arkansas

Representative
Darrin Williams

Arkansas

Representative
Amy Carter

Georgia

Representative
Barbara Sims

Georgia

Senator
Denise Harper Angel

Kentucky

Representative
Wade Hurt

Kentucky

Representative
Sannie Overly

Kentucky

Judge Jeffrey Bivins
Twenty First Judicial Circuit Court
Tennessee

Chancellor Jerri Saunders Bryant
Tenth Judicial District Chancery Court
Tennessee

Senator
Jim Tracy

Tennessee

Mr. James “Jim” Bethke
Executive Director
Indigent Defense Commission
Texas

Ms. Vicki Spriggs
Executive Director
Juvenile Probation Commission
Texas

Ms. Carey Welebob
Director
Community Justice Assistance Division
Department of Criminal Justice
Texas

Magistrate
Gail C. Boober

Magistrate Court
West Virginia

Senator
Orphy Klempa

West Virginia

Senator
William “Bill” Laird IV

West Virginia

University of Arkansas System and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
Little Rock, Arkansas | September 25-29, 2010

The 2010 class comprised 22 emerging leaders from the legislative, executive and judicial branches of state government from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.   

During the intensive three and a half day program, participants spent classroom time with nationally renowned experts in the fields of communication, media and leadership training.  The program curriculum was developed to help participants enhance their leadership capabilities, professional careers, and personal lives through improvements in communication, conflict resolution, consensus building and critical decision-making skills. Through the CALS program, the development of these leadership competencies prepares the rising and mid-career officials to be effective leaders in state government. Another tenet of this premier multi-branch program is that it offers a unique forum for state officials who might rarely cross paths to share ideas.

Class of 2010

Representative
Merika Coleman

Alabama

Judge
David Kimberley

Sixteenth Judicial Circuit
Alabama

Representative
Tiffany Rogers

Arkansas

Representative
Charles “Chuck” Chestnut IV

Florida

Senator
Gloria Butler

Georgia

Representative
Tom Dickson

Georgia

Representative
Jeff Greer

Kentucky

Representative
Martha Jane King

Kentucky

Representative
Brent Yonts

Kentucky

Judge
Elizabeth Chandler

Fifteenth Judicial District
Kentucky

Judge
Patricia “Patsy” Summe

Kenton County Circuit
Kentucky

Representative
Patricia Haynes Smith

Louisiana

Representative
Charmaine Marchand Stiaes
Louisiana

Senator
Eric Powell

Mississippi

Representative
Tishaura Jones

Missouri

Representative
Ruth Samuelson

North Carolina

Ms. Joy Hicks
Policy Analyst
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
North Carolina

Representative
Lee Denney

Oklahoma

Representative
Dan Kirby

Oklahoma

Representative
Jabar Shumate

Oklahoma

Representative
Harold Wright, Jr.

Oklahoma

Associate District Judge
April Sellers White

District Court of Creek County
Oklahoma

West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia | October 3-7, 2009

The 2009 CALS program included leaders from Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The training sessions focused on essential topics such as leadership development, ethics, interpersonal exchanges, and communication skills.

Participants spent classroom time with nationally renowned experts in public policy, media and leadership training. Designed to improve competencies in the areas of communication, conflict resolution, consensus building and critical decision making, the CALS program offers participants a unique opportunity to gain region-specific information on issue trends, forecasts and leadership/skills development with colleagues from across the South.

Class of 2009

Senator
Brandon Smith

Kentucky

Representative
Adam Koenig

Kentucky

Chief Regional District Judge
Susan Mullins Johnson

Twenty-Fourth Judicial District
Kentucky

Chief Regional District Judge
Karen Thomas

Seventeenth Judicial District
Kentucky

Representative
Regina Ashford Barrow

Louisiana

Representative
Rosalind Jones

Louisiana

Ms. Tammy Woods
Assistant Chief of Staff
Office of the Governor
Louisiana

Representative
Brandon Jones

Mississippi

Representative
Cynthia Davis

Missouri

Justice
Zel Fischer

Supreme Court
Missouri

Representative
Justin Burr

North Carolina

Representative
Shirley Randleman

North Carolina

Mr. Ray Starling
General Counsel
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
North Carolina

Senator
Dan Newberry

Oklahoma

Representative
Jason Nelson

Oklahoma

Representative
Mike Shelton

Oklahoma

Representative
Paul Agnew

South Carolina

Representative
Joan Brady

South Carolina

Senator
Ken Yager

Tennessee

Representative
Karen Camper

Tennessee

Senator
Mark Herring

Virginia

Ms. Heidi Dix
Deputy Commissioner
Department of Behavioral Health
Virginia

University of Oklahoma and Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center
September 20-24, 2008 | Norman, Oklahoma

The 2008 CALS program included 16 leaders from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Class of 2008

Senator
Arthur Orr
Alabama

Representative
Paul DeMarco
Alabama

Representative
James Fields, Jr.
Alabama

Senator
Larry Teague
Arkansas

Representative
Gene Shelby
Arkansas

Mr. Frank Scott, Jr.
Policy Analyst
Office of the Governor
Arkansas

Senator
Bill Hamrick
Georgia

Representative
Judy Manning
Georgia

Ms. Vonnetta Pryor
Chief Budget Officer
Administrative Office of the Courts
Georgia

Representative
Skye McNiel
Oklahoma

Representative
Tim Scott
South Carolina

Senator
Jack Johnson
Tennessee

Ms. Jessica Olson
Deputy Director
Budget, Planning and Policy
Office of the Governor
Texas

Mr. Craig Burns
Director, Division of Policy, Planning and Compliance
Virginia Retirement System
Virginia

Ms. Cheryl Roberts
Deputy Director of Programs and Operations
Department of Medical Assistance Services
Virginia

Senator
John Unger II
West Virginia

University of Arkansas System, Clinton School of Public Service, and Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
Little Rock, Arkansas | October 6-10, 2007

The inaugural CALS program included 19 leaders from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, and North Carolina. The training sessions focused on essential topics such as leadership development, ethics, interpersonal exchanges, and communication skills.

The CALS program provided an intensive three-and-a-half day professional development program to help state lawmakers from 10 selected Southern states strengthen their leadership skills and commitment to their institutions.

Class of 2007

Representative
Marc Keahey
Alabama

Senator
Robert Thompson
Arkansas

Representative
Kathy Webb
Arkansas

Mr. Lamar Davis
Deputy Chief of Staff
Office of the Governor
Arkansas

Representative
Marcelo Llorente
Florida

Representative
Calvin Hill
Georgia

Senator
Brett Guthrie
Kentucky

Representative
John Tilley

Kentucky

Delegate Jon Cardin
Maryland

Delegate Sue Kullen
Maryland

Senator
Gray Tollison
Mississippi

Representative
Jessica Sibley Upshaw
Mississippi

Mr. Omar Davis
Director
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
Missouri

Senator
Jeff Smith
Missouri

Representative
Patricia Yaeger
Missouri

Representative
Jake Zimmerman
Missouri

Representative
Ric Killian
North Carolina

Senator
A. B. Swindell, IV
North Carolina

Representative
Thom Tillis
North Carolina