• UWA’s McFarland participates in executive education training at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government

    Posted: January 21, 2014

    Author: Betsy Compton

    A University of West Alabama professional staff member recently participated in a four-day executive education training event. J. William “Billy” McFarland completed the inaugural program offered through a partnership between the Delta Regional Authority Leadership Institute’s Executive Academy and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass.

    The four-day program, designed and led by Harvard faculty, focused on cutting edge leadership principles in the United States.

    McFarland, who serves as special assistant to the president, and as director of the Center for Business and Economic Services and the James Suttles Entrepreneurship Institute at the University of West Alabama, participated as part of the State of Alabama’s delegation.

    “Developing cohesive leadership in our communities is vital to moving the Delta region forward,” said DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill. “As our Delta Leadership Network grows in both quantity and quality, we must continue to engage these skilled professionals in understanding how to exercise leadership.”

    UWA has enjoyed a partnership with the Delta Regional Authority that works to enhance opportunities and empower the workforce of the Delta and Black Belt regions. The 178-year-old institution has in common with the DRA a mission to provide state-of-the-art learning opportunities and training that has already begun to show signs of economic development through education.

    UWA President Richard Holland remarked, “The Delta Regional Authority is a proven leader in improving the quality of life in Alabama’s Black Belt, and we are proud of our ongoing partnership and collaboration, which continues to yield positive results for the region.”

    McFarland, who has been employed by UWA since January of 2011, said, “I am both humbled and honored to be selected to represent the State of Alabama at this remarkable event. I thank Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill and Alternate Federal Co-Chairman Mike Marshall not only for this opportunity, but also for being loyal friends to Alabama’s Black Belt/Delta region.”

    PHOTO (L-R): Delta Regional Authority Alternate Federal Co-Chairman Mike Marshall, J. William “Billy” McFarland, Jr., United States Air Force Brigadier General (Ret.) and Harvard University Kennedy School of Government faculty member Dr. Dana H. Born, and Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill.

    The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership that is congressionally mandated to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives in the 252 counties and parishes of the Delta. Through twelve cycles of federal investment, the Authority is helping to create and retain more than 41,000 jobs and has leveraged $2.7 billion in other public and private investment.
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