Thank you for your interest in the Blue Ridge Institute (BRI)! The BRI community is a unique development opportunity for executive level community leaders. The pinnacle event of BRI every year is an annual conference where learning, leadership and renewal blended together in a beautiful, rustic environment. Thought-provoking professional development sessions each day lead into afternoons and evenings that offer a variety of optional activities from canoeing, hiking, and cookouts to softball and dancing. Members, affectionately called “Blue Ridgers,” may also choose to spend their time more quietly: relaxing, reading, or discussing the day’s presentation with colleagues. Networking with peer leaders happens everywhere at BRI – from the sessions, to the hiking trails, to the lakeside pier.
Families are also welcomed. In fact, children aged 4 to 17 have the opportunity to participate in the BRI Youth Leadership Academy (YLA). YLA is an incredible chance for children to learn, grow and make friends of their own while the BRI member takes part in the general professional development sessions. YLA is hosted by the faculty and students of the University of Tennessee, College of Social Work. Many children who attend each summer with their parent or grandparent look forward to it all year. This chance to blend work life with family is yet another unique and inspiring part of the BRI experience.
Once accepted, we strongly believe you will find BRI to be one of the most enriching and inspiring development experiences of your career. You will develop life-long friendships with other leaders, and become part of a robust network of professionals who dedicate their careers to helping others. We explore the shared challenges we face in providing service to our communities, as we learn from world-class speakers as well as each other. Additionally, and of equal importance, we renew and recharge ourselves through fellowship and fun activities in a secluded environment that fosters reflection, growth and relaxation.