Northeast Oklahoma Regional Alliance
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Leadership Academy


Today’s regional challenges require a new problem-solving capacity and the ability to work across political, geographical and institutional boundaries. Through the NORA Leadership Academy, leaders develop a broader awareness of the region. They acquire a greater knowledge of the interdependence of the diverse communities that constitute the Northeastern Oklahoma. Additionally, participants are able to sharpen leadership skills while networking with decisions makers and professionals statewide.

The program focuses on topics relevant to current trends and issues. The curriculum provides a framework for understanding organizational and institutional processes and responsibilities for regional planning, problem-solving and community building. Local and regional experts address diverse topics, including ingredients of a successful region, community collaboration, education, economic and social trends.

 2020 Leadership Academy Application

  • Ben Barnett, Cherokee Nation Career Services

    Dr. Janet Buzzard, Northeastern State University

    Rusty Clark, Cherokee County Election Board

    Donnie Crain, Grove Area Chamber of Commerce

    Ed Culiver

    Shaunda Davis, Jay Public Schools

    Kim Dorr, City of Wagoner

    Dwayne Elam, City of Wagoner

    Bob Haley, City of Wagoner Police Department

    Nick Harris, Edward Jones Pryor

    Sue Hensley, Cherokee Nation Career Services

    Lisa Smith, Lake Area United Way

    Lyndon Smith, Cherokee Nation Career Services

    Tony Codray, NE Tech

    Austin Patton, Cherokee Nation

    Jill Taylor, Cherokee Nation Commerce Department

    Tim Thompson, OG&E

    Bayly Wright, Cherokee Nation Commerce Department



Leadership abounds in our communities through our citizens, our civic organizations, and our local and tribal governments. Regional leadership is essential to regional development and the success of the regional summit is indicative that our local governments are cooperative and willing to work with one another to address growth issues and encourage collaboration. Our people and civic organizations are the backbones of our communities; however, our aging population and lower levels of work aged adults necessitate youth leadership development to maintain and grow our leadership base. We must keep our youth at home and civically engaged in order for them to become progressive regional leaders of tomorrow.

Leadership discussions focused on three central themes:

  • Creating a regional leadership network
  • Building leadership in youth while encouraging leadership in adults, and
  • Building a regional leadership plan.

Community deliberations regarding the themes brought forth two results:

  1. All Regional Leaders Embrace a Culture of Collaboration – we must create a culture of collaboration in our region; a culture that goes far beyond partnering and coordinating to group decision making and increasing the capacity of others.
  2. Regional Leadership is Engaged at all Levels – our leaders should be completely engaged, not only in their own community but in the Region; leadership must take on the challenge of engaging and promoting new leadership.