Appalachian Regional Commission Names Mayor Jesse Turner as Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellow

LORETTO, TENN. – The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) named Mayor Jesse E. Turner of Loretto, TN to participate in the inaugural class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute.

As a Fellow, Jesse will participate in the Appalachian Leadership Institute, an extensive nine-month program of skill-building seminars, best practice reviews, field visits, mentoring, and networking. The curriculum will be anchored by six multi-day seminars around the region with the first sessions taking place in Morehead, Kentucky October 21-24, 2019. Subsequent training sessions will be held in Dalton, Georgia; Starkville, Mississippi; Beckley, West Virginia; Boone, North Carolina; Jamestown, New York; followed by a capstone graduation in Washington, DC in July, 2020.

“This is exciting news for Lawrence County,” explained Ryan Egly, President & CEO of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. “Our community has partnered with the Appalachian Regional Commission to support projects improving our utility systems, industrial roadways, and mental health services for more than ten years. Mayor Turner’s selection for this program is not only evidence of this partnership, but is also a great opportunity to build relationships that will better our chances in securing funds for future economic & community development projects.” 

As part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute, Jesse will work directly with public policy, community development, education, investment, and other professionals who live and/or work in the Region to:

  • Design effective economic development project proposals
  • Integrate community assets into long-lasting economic development strategies
  • Identify resources available to spur economic development
  • Locate and access investment capital from a variety of public and private sources
  • Prepare competitive applications for public grant opportunities
  • Use expanded leadership skills to create strong coalitions

Upon completion of the program, Jesse will automatically become part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Network, a peer-to-peer working group committed to Appalachia’s future.

“Our hope is that the Appalachian Leadership Institute will help develop leadership and problem solving, bring advancement, and grow greater prosperity in the Region,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “Leadership is the essential foundation on which all of our collective efforts to enhance Appalachia rest.”

Jesse was selected via a competitive application process. ARC received180 applications for the 2019-2020 Appalachian Leadership Institute class, resulting in an acceptance rate of 22 percent. Applications for the 2020-2021 class will open in March, 2020.

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive regional leadership training program developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact. More information about the Appalachian Leadership Institute is available


About the Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission ( is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.