The Leadership and Administrative Skills Committee and Educational Foundation are excited to present this leadership development opportunity. The goal of this program is to prepare NACAA members for national leadership in the organization, in addition to helping with their own county and state leadership goals. It aims to develop compassionate leaders who can manage diverse groups of people and create a pool of well-rounded candidates for future NACAA leadership.

Program details: This program will be offered monthly online with an in-person kick-off at the 2024 AM/PIC. The Academy will culminate in a final project where small teams of participants will group up to develop a presentation on a leadership development topic that has not been covered during the program. At the 2025 AM/PIC, teams will deliver these talks during the Leadership & Administrative Skills presentation session.

Why Participate?

  1. Cutting edge leadership topics!
  2. Collaborate with colleagues across the nation!
  3. Get a published abstract and national presentation at AM/PIC 2025!
  4. Get your StrenghtsFinder assessment ($60 value)

Past participant experiences:

"This academy allows us as agents and specialists to broaden our horizons beyond our individual state lines. The perspectives, stories, and experiences of your cohort and the speakers truly are eye-opening. You will take a piece of each speaker and member of your cohort with you when the program is all said and done, and that might be the most valuable piece of the whole program!" - Blake Carter, UGA Extension


Cost: $150, due after acceptance


Deadline: May 15, acceptance will be determined by June 1.

A supervisor letter of support is required during the registration process.

Priority will be given to NACAA members and those who plan to attend the AM/PICs in 2024 and 2025.

Leadership and Administrative Skills Committee:

Chair/NC Region: Amanda Douridas,
NE Region: Laura Beth Kenny,

NC Region: Carol Waters,
Southern Region: Dalton Dockery,
West Region: Donna Hoffman,


Program Schedule

Monthly meetings will occur on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 11a.m. – 2p.m. EST (unless otherwise noted)

Session 1 at AM/PIC 2024- July 16, 1:30-3:30:

Overview of program and final project
Hear from some current and past NACAA leaders
Introductions and discussions

Sept 12: Strength Finders (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

Gallup research has shown that people who use their strengths every day are happier and healthier. In fact, they are six times as likely to be engaged in their job and three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life.
Sometimes the talents we apply to a job or project are so innate we don’t even realize we have them.  Often we think everybody sees the path the same way or would do it that way we would.  This workshop will help you identify your own individual talent themes in a way that will allow you to begin intentionally converting them into strengths. 

Oct 10: Strength Finders Continued (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

Why should others follow you?  Understanding yourself and your individual strengths is key to your authenticity and successful leadership practices.  Learning about the strengths of your team members and helping them unlock their potential doesn’t just lead to greater performance, it helps establish a foundation from which all can grow.  This workshop will help you understand Strengths as a mindset, and the concept of manager as coach.

Nov 14: NACAA Structure and Opportunities

NACAA leadership structure
How to get started in leadership at the national level
What opportunities are available
What are the benefits of NACAA leadership
Time commitment with each position
How to get involved as a national officer
Gaining local and state support
What is the commitment before, during and after serving as president 

Dec: Break


The following topics are tentative as we continue to fill speaker spots and get feedback from the current cohort.

Jan 9: Compassion and Empathy

Speakers: Teresa McCoy and Jared Morrison, Ohio State University Extension
Leadership involves building trust and authentic relationships. To do this, leaders must have genuine care, compassion, and empathy. In this workshop you will learn practical tools from two proven leadership methods: Trust Edge Institute and Emotional Intelligence.

Feb 13: Work life / organization / schedule management

Speakers: Lee Beers, Jenny Lobb and Shannon Carter, Ohio State University Extension
The Extension profession tends to attract employees who are hard-working, dedicated, and most satisfied when they can help others. To be successful, the Extension professional must balance the needs of their customers and colleagues, as well as their family and personal needs. Sometimes we try to be all things to all people and end up losing site of what matters most. Do you find the demands on your time and energy sometimes exceed your capacity to meet them? Have you wondered how you’ll meet the goals you have set for yourself? You’re not alone.

Job stress, time management and balancing work and family are common struggles in the life of an Extension professional. According to recent research on Extension professionals’ stress, those who reported greater use of planning tended to have lower stress scores. Learn more about a purpose-driven approach to managing priorities. This presentation will offer insight into aligning personal values with work and life goals. We will explore tools to focus your time and resources towards projects and tasks that help you become more energized, focused and engaged in the moments that matter most, whether at work or at home.

Mar 13: Trust and DEI

Dr. Suzanna Windon
Topic 1: Managing for Trust and Improved Collaboration - This interactive workshop allows participants to embrace collaborative work utilizing best practices of implementing trust that may positively impact the program audience.  Participants will learn how to create a culture of shared strategies and assimilate a culture of implementing trust. Participants will be able to utilize strategies for trust-busting communication, develop skills that help to build trust, understand trustworthiness, and receive tips on how to use components of trustworthiness. After this workshop, participants can use a strategic thinking approach to create trust-based communication with stakeholders.
•Topic 2: Negotiation Across Diversity -  We don’t and can’t change personality, experience, and culture. However, we can adapt temporarily to capitalize on behavioral tendencies. This session discusses negotiation and diversity among individuals, groups, and communities. The session covers aspects related to the following: Negotiation and gender, Personality, individual abilities and negotiation, Cultural differences, and negotiation (Example: Latino Talent: Application for Extension Professionals). After this workshop, participants can better understand the difference across diversity and will be able to utilize negotiation strategies in their daily work.

Apr 10: TBD


May 8: Communication and Conflict Resolution

Speakers:  Dr. Rhonda Sutton,  Assistant Dean for Professional Development, NCSU & Nikki Kurdys, Assistant Extension Director, HR & Operational Strategy, NCSU
Different strategies on how to better communicate with one another and ways to deal with conflict through conflict resolution strategies. 

Jun 12: Project Presentation Practice and Feedback


Jun/Jul: AM/PIC Final Presentations