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Denny Wayne Robinson Connects With Appalachian Leaders

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Denny Wayne Robinson Connects With Appalachian Leaders

White County Executive Denny Wayne Robinson was one of four Tennesseans selected to take part in the Appalachian Leadership Institute’s inaugural class.

Robinson said this class of 40 leaders took part in problem solving simulations like a large plant closure and tornado response. Robinson said his biggest takeaway from the class is the connections he made with other leaders across 13 states.

“It was a wide variety of people, it wasn’t all elected officials… some worked for economic development, some worked for non-profits,” Robinson said. “Just about any scenario that I would run against, I have somebody that I can reach out to.”

Robinson said he’s already started tapping into some of the connections he made during the class this month. Robinson said the impact resources, beyond other elected officials, have was something he did not think about before.

“It taught me that I’ve got resources, we’ve all got resources available to us that may not be in an elected position,” Robinson said. “It may be somebody that is running a non-profit, or it may be somebody that works in another form of government… stuff that I didn’t really think about before entering this class.”

Robinson said he felt like he was selected because of his passion for economic development. Robinson said the simulated problems ended up becoming relevant to his role in White County in the time following this class.

“You got together as a group and basically, you assumed different roles within the community and like one was a tornado came through town, which ended up being very relevant,” Robinson said. “How do you handle it, what do you do, who are the people you reach out to? One was a large plant closure scenario, and we worked through those problems.”

The Appalachian Leadership Institute celebrated in November with a graduation for its inaugural class of 2019-2020. There were 40 participants across 13 states in Appalachia.


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