Town of Holly Springs Economic Development Director Jenny Mizelle recently graduated from the Leadership North Carolina program with Class XXI. A nonprofit organization, Leadership North Carolina engages current and emerging leaders from across the state through the program and through ongoing networking and service activities.
“The idea is to turn knowledge into action,” Mizelle said.
Mizelle joins 950 alumni of the program, significantly expanding her network of potential economic development partners.
Each year, Leadership North Carolina selects a class of about 50 leaders to learn about issues related to government, economic development, health and human services, education, and the environment. Mizelle said she gained a behind-the-scenes look at how these issues are addressed by the public and private sectors and how they affect communities and businesses.
Mizelle’s class met for six three-day sessions that included everything from a tour of a prison to a lesson on sustainability at the Biltmore Estate.
“I can’t begin to describe how many times my classmates and I were surprised and astounded by some of the unique programs and practices we experienced during the year,” Mizelle said. “The caliber of speakers, topics and tours exceeded my expectations. In addition to my personal development, the LNC experience presented me with an opportunity to showcase Holly Springs to 50 classmates representing industry, healthcare, energy, education and other fields.”
While any North Carolina resident may apply for Leadership North Carolina, the program brochure says “characteristics of a successful applicant include a commitment to serving the state, demonstrated community and professional leadership, a desire and willingness to seek key volunteer and/or appointed leadership roles, a commitment to remaining in the state, and dedication to playing a personal role in helping to shape North Carolina’s future.”
Mizelle is co-chairing the economic development program of Leadership North Carolina for Class XXII.
Mizelle has lived in Holly Springs and served as director of Economic Development for the Town for 18 years. She has concentrated on presenting the assets and amenities of the Holly Springs community to her allies at the national, state and regional levels, drawing attention and investment to Holly Springs that strengthens and diversifies the tax base and creates jobs. Mizelle led the team that convinced Novartis to locate their $1 billion state of the art flu vaccine facility here. The facility now employs almost 800 people. In addition, Mizelle and Economic Development Coordinator Irena Krstanovic strive to support existing businesses and entrepreneurs by ensuring Town government is responsive and understands how municipal activities affect businesses’ success.