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LEAD Athens


LEAD Athens is an intense year-long program of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce designed to develop effective leaders committed to building a vibrant community. The vision of LEAD Athens is to be the premier program inspiring leaders to exceed both their individual and collective potential.

Through Leadership, Education, Awareness, and Development, participants are heavily immersed in community issues including economic development, health and human services, education, the arts, local industry, and government.

Team building, problem-solving, and decision-making are also part of the program which yields a class of leaders ready to LEAD Athens. Founded in 1982, LEAD Athens has a rich history and has yielded over 700 alumni from all cross sections of the community. The LEAD Athens alumni have become great leaders in the Athens area and are helping the Chamber to guide this city to a bright and prosperous future.


Danielle Vito
Athens Area Humane Society
Class of 2022


"LEAD has given me an opportunity to really get to know the Classic City and the fabulous people who influence our uniqueness. Being able to work along side such amazing leaders, while learning more about everything Athens has to offer, will be an experience I hold on to forever."

Travis Burroughs
Pellicano Constrution
Class of 2022


"LEAD Athens has connected me to Athens deeper than I could have imaged. I’m enjoying learning so much about the Classic City and its connectivity to business, nonprofits, and issues needing our attention.”

Congratulations to the Graduated Class of 2021-2022!


Melinda Allen

Bethel Haven, Inc.


Noriz Diaz

Farmers Insurance


Erin Beasley

Athens Community Council on Aging, Inc


William 'Nat' Belger

Superior Air Management


Joe Ehrlich

Clarke County Mentor Program


Oonagh Benson

Synovus Bank


Cobern Epting

Chastain & Associates Insurance


Travis Burroughs

Pellicano Construction


John Skinner

Jackson EMC


Gustavo Rodriguez

ACC Economic Development


Jacquelyn Iley

St. Mary's


Danielle 'Vito' Vito

Athens Area Humane Society


Mary Joyce

Children's First, Inc


Jen Welborn

Athens Technical College


Dr. Cheryl McCormick

Athens Area Humane Society


Dr. Jillian Whatley

Clarke County Public Schools


John Mitchell

Katie Williams

Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau


Jeff Petrea

Georgia Power Company

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