Rising Leaders

Rising Leaders is an eight-month long program, designed to develop the next generation of community leaders and board members for Henderson County nonprofit organizations.

United Way of Henderson County has created the Rising Leaders program to educate individuals and give them the tools and connections to become key volunteers with our community partners and other nonprofits in Henderson County.

About Rising Leaders:

Participants attend monthly sessions from August through March on topics such as board member roles and responsibilities, fundraising, nonprofit life cycles, and parliamentary procedures. The program culminates in a graduation and “speed-dating” style event where graduates meet and talk with representatives from approximately 20 local nonprofits. Past participants are currently serving as board members and key volunteers at many Henderson County nonprofits. 

For the recent 2020-21 Rising Leaders program, we offered a Virtual Rising Leaders program with monthly meetings happening on Zoom. It is our hope to hold our 2021-2022 program in person, with more information available in Summer 2021.

Requirements to successfully complete the Rising Leaders Program are:

  • Must attend at least 5 of the 6 Informational Sessions and Graduation.
  • Attend a board of directors meeting at a Henderson County nonprofit organization and complete a related homework assignment.


Thanks to the generous sponsorship by WNC Bridge Foundation and Carolina Village, the Rising Leaders Program is free of charge for all participants. Space is limited each year. Graduates are already making a strong impact in our community, as many of them have been recruited to serve on committees, boards of directors and in other key roles of local non-profit organizations. 

For more information on the Rising Leaders Program, please contact Sarah Kowalak at rl@liveunitedhc.org

2020-21 Rising Leaders Graduates:

10 year logo

Nioka Abshire, Zaxby's
Sarah Barton, Henderson County Public Schools
Crystal Cauley, BBN of WNC/Black History Collective
Carrie Ann Chandler, Smart Start Partnership for Children
Jessi Correa, Camp Greystone
Laura Crago, Edward Jones
Katie Dirrig, Childrens Society of NC/ Realty One Group Pivot
Susan Ferrell, Royalty Cleaning
Stephanie Florimonte, WNC Bridge Foundation
Katherine Galvagni, Henderson County Public Schools
Michelle Geiser, HopeRx
Brittany Kiteley, Pardee UNC Health Care
Chas Morris, Grace Blue Ridge PCA Inc
Rubi  Pimentel, Carolina Conference
Lauren Rippy, Beverly Hanks
Andrea Smith, Life Care Center of Hendersonville


Rising Leaders

Rising Leaders

Rising Leaders

Rising Leaders

Rising Leaders is generously sponsored by:

WNC Bridge

Carolina Village