MISSISSIPPI RIVER DELTA REGION — Hannah Chretien of Barlow, Ky. and Mason DeJarnett of Paducah, Ky. have been selected to participate in the Delta Regional Authority’s (DRA) Delta Leadership Institute (DLI).
They will join fellows from the seven other Delta states to participate in the 10-month DLI Executive Academy to help further their skills in community leadership, policy development and regional collaboration to drive economic growth across the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions.
Chretien currently serves as the executive director of the Ballard County Economic & Industrial Development Board (Ballard EDC) and interim Ballard County Chamber director. Having two bachelor’s degrees in international relations and economics, she spent time abroad in Japan and worked for Toyota Tsusho before her hiring by the Ballard EDC.
Last year she has been involved in the Ballard County area, assisting with notable projects such as Aerosource H and the development of the Wickliffe riverport.
Her current focuses are to continue developing Kevil’s Industrial Park and to create a comprehensive document with detail on all available sites and infrastructure for Ballard County to use for business site selection.
Mason DeJarnett, who works at Fabick CAT, is a power systems rental territory manager and used equipment manager. He has 16 years in sales experience, with six years working directly with manufacturing, marine, chemical and aggregate clients in the Delta region. DeJarnett currently serves on the board of directors for Paducah Young Professionals, Propeller Club Port of Paducah, and is past president of the Kiwanis Club of Paducah and Paducah Day Nursery.
Chretien and DeJarnett will participate in a 10-month executive leadership training program focused on developing competencies through site visits, best practice case studies, executive coaching and mentoring, and regional project development. The program consists of six multi-day seminars throughout the Delta region culminating with a graduation in Memphis, Tenn.
“DLI is providing the next generation of change agents with the skills and abilities to address some of the most pressing issues facing the Delta. I congratulate the fellows on their selection,” said DRA Chairman Chris Caldwell. “The Delta needs bold individuals to develop and capitalize on the many opportunities available to the region and DLI provides these individuals with the skill set to do that.”
Upon graduation, Chretien and DeJarnett will become members of the Delta Leadership Network, a peer-driven working group foster regional collaboration, resource sharing and continued education to support addressing the Delta’s most pressing issues.
Since 2005, DLI’s Executive Academy has enhanced the leadership skills, policy knowledge and networks of community members in the Delta region. After graduation, DLI graduates become members of the Delta Leadership Network, which includes more than 500 community leaders who understand the importance of regional collaboration, resource sharing and innovative thinking. DLI is a program of DRA in partnership with three institutions of higher education in the Delta region: The University of Alabama, The University of Arkansas, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro and the University of Louisiana-Monroe.