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Stevans Named to ARC Leadership Institute

Mark to Represent Tennessee in Intensive Regional Leadership Development Program

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has named Mark Stevans, Director of Special Projects as a 2020-2021 Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellow.

As a Fellow, Mark will participate in the Appalachian Leadership Institute, an extensive nine-month series of online skill-building seminars featuring regional experts, peer-to-peer learning, and case study analysis beginning in mid-October through July, 2021. Topics include:

· Designing effective economic development project proposals;

· Integrating community assets into long-lasting economic development strategies;

· Identifying resources available to spur economic development;

· Locating and accessing investment capital from a variety of public and private sources;

· Preparing competitive applications for public grant opportunities; and

· Using expanded leadership skills to create strong coalitions.

Upon completion of the program, Mark will automatically become part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Network, a peer-to-peer working group committed to Appalachia’s future.

Upon being informed of Mark’s selection for the ARC Leadership Institute, Chris Craig, Executive Director of the First Tennessee Development District, had this to say, “Mark’s inclusion will be a benefit to not only the Leadership Institute and the ARC, but to the FTDD, and our entire region as well.”

Mark was selected via a competitive application process. ARC received over 100 applications for the 2020-2021 Appalachian Leadership Institute class and selected 40 applicants.

“Congratulations to the new class of Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows. The skills development and network-building opportunities offered by this program have proven to be valuable, and this past year has shown that effective local leadership is essential,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “This program has adjusted well to the present circumstance and offers a unique opportunity to learn first-hand from those who have provided leadership for their communities through difficult circumstances.

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive regional leadership training program developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact. This is the second year of the program.

More information, including a complete list of current Fellows, is available at

About the Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission ( is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.


For all questions, please contact Mark Stevans, 423-928-0224.

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