Leadership Lafayette

The Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce presents the 35th annual Leadership Lafayette program.  Leadership Lafayette welcomes applicants from all levels of community involvement, from established corporate level leaders, executives, emerging leaders, community leaders, and new-to-Oxford/Lafayette County leaders, who are interested in learning more about Oxford/Lafayette County and the issues that impact our community.  Our goal is to develop and maintain a network of invested citizens committed to improving the quality of life in our community.  Ideal candidates are those who are passionate not only about their personal leadership but about their community and its success.

What is Leadership Lafayette?  It is an eight-month program, running annually from January through August, that features a series of monthly training sessions and activities, designed for establishing active and engaged community leaders.  The Leadership Lafayette program introduces participants to a wide variety of assets within our Lafayette County area, exposes them to current community needs, and strategic leadership skills training.  The class will meet for an all day session once a month, typically the first Thursday of the month, from 8am-5pm. In addition to the monthly sessions, class members participate in a community based team project that aims to solve a current community problem and leaves a lasting impact on the LOU community. 

How are the Leadership Lafayette participants chosen?  Participation in Leadership Lafayette is determined by a competitive application process with the number of applicants far exceeding the number of available openings. A selection committee will carefully review all Leadership Lafayette applications.  Program participation is limited to 25.  Preference will be given to candidates who, in addition to their potential for leadership, would contribute to the overall diversity and strength of the class and have available time to commit to the program and future community service.  Leadership Lafayette seeks to have class diversity among all ethnic groups, ages, genders, professions, and backgrounds.

Click for link to Class of 2023 Online Application

2023 Tentative Session Calendar

Thursday, January 19, 2023
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Thursday, February 9, 2023
Thursday, March 2, 2023
Thursday, April 13, 2023
Thursday, May 4, 2023
Thursday, June 1, 2023
Thursday, July 13, 2023
Thursday, August 3, 2023
Thursday, August 31, 2023 (Graduation Banquet)

Leadership Lafayette Class of 2022

Photography by Photos by Joey Brent.

2022 Leadership Award recipient Shanika Ward pictured with Leadership Lafayette Chairman Quentin Brewer (left) and Leadership Lafayette Steering Committee member Chief Jeff McCutchen (right)


Leadership Lafayette Class Members

Kelly Bell

SRM,LLC The Isom Place

Venue Manager

Peter Blinder

Olin - Winchester

Inventory Analyst

Moneak Bobo

North Mississippi Regional Center

Volunteer Coordinator

Rashanda Booker

University of Mississippi

Inclusive Excellence & Engagement Director

Jon Brown

C Spire

Commercial Account Manager

Cameron Brown

Old Navy

Assistant Manager of Customers Operations

James Dowd

University of Mississippi

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, HottyToddy.com

Shane Fortner

Oxford Police Department

Detective Sergeant

Halon Gossett

Market Realty


Duncan Gray

Oxford School District

Asst. Director College and Career Readiness

Elise Grenley

FNB Bank

Business Services Representative

Kathryn Hathorne

Renasant Bank


Brittney Marks

North MS Regional Center

Social Work Tech/Target Case Management

Jake Michel

University of Mississippi

Assistant Director of Maintenance Services

Traci Moore


Director of Inpatient Therapy

Betsy Nelson

Shared Air Solutions Consultants

VP - Governmental Affairs

Nathaniel Rios

Wellspring Community Church


Gabby Rush

Americorps Vista-Subsite:Doors of Hope Transition Ministries

Americorps Vista Member

Laurie Steele

City of Oxford

Human Resources Assistant

Castel Sweet

University of Mississippi

Director of Community Engagement and Assistant Professor of Practice in Community Engagement

Nadia Thornton

Visit Oxford

Sales and Marketing Manager

Shanika Ward

North MS Regional Center

Quality Assurance Coordinator/QIDP

Taylor Webb

Tollison & Webb P.A.