HICKORY, NC | SEPT 10, 2021




Attending the conference virtually? Great! Things kick off at 8:30 AM and here's the Zoom link to join:


(If the above link doesn't work, copy and paste https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81570448016 into your preferred web browser.)


Strong communities need strong leaders. Our community needs YOU to be a strong leader. This is why The Catawba Valley Leadership Foundation (aka "The Foundation") has partnered with local businesses and organizations to host the Annual Leadership Conference — a half-day experience designed to inform, inspire, and raise your leadership.

The goal of The Foundation is to make life better for every person in the Catawba Valley by improving leadership. Why? Because every life in the Catawba Valley is touched by multiple businesses, organizations, institutions and movements -- all of which are made better or worse by their leaders. We want the best leaders because we want the very best quality of life.

The conference is designed to touch on the challenges and opportunities for leaders in every arena, including business, civic and community, healthcare, education, and non-profit. 

Join other leaders from the area as we gain wisdom and encouragement for the important task of leading.  

This Year's Theme: Inside Leadership

Leadership is an inside job.

While the evidence of a true leader is seen on the outside (what the leader does, who the leader influences, and what the leader accomplishes), none of this happens without a change inside the leader.

This year's conference will focus on the inside changes that make leaders great.

This Year's Speakers

Our speakers represent the quality of leadership in the Catawba Valley and each one has a passion for bringing out the leadership potential of others. 

Cameron Annas CEO Granite Insurance

Sheree Watson CEO Graystone Eye

Garrett Hinshaw President


The Annual Conference is a fast-paced, half-day packed with stories, motivation, and information -- in that order. We find that people are most moved by stories and examples, not by points, keys, principles and power point slides. You'll get some insights on how to lead more effectively, but you'll also gain the motivation to put those insights into practice immediately and in ways that make a real difference.

8:30 AM: Registration, coffee, donuts, and time to network

Session #1 Switch Flip: the power of seeing yourself as a leader
In the life of every leader there's a necessary lightbulb moment -- it's the time when the switch flips and you realize that you are called to lead. In this session, Cameron Annas, CEO of Granite Insurance will share his own switch flip story and how leaders at all stages must embrace the call to lead.

Session #2 Next Level: making the jump to being a leader of leaders
Truly high-impact leadership involves making the jump from leading followers to leading other leaders. This jump is not an easy one to make, but the rewards are significant. In this session, Sheree Watson, CEO of Greystone Eye will share the lessons she's learned in her jump to next level leadership.

Session #3 Young Leaders Panel, sponsored by Hickory Young Professionals
One of the most exciting things happening in our community is the groundswell of young leaders who are bringing energy and discipline for making this a stronger community. In this video session, a panel of young area leaders will share their own leadership stories and insights. 

Session #4 Legacy: the daily grind necessary to leave a mark
If you read the leadership literature, you might think leading an organization is somehow glamorous. It's not. In this session, Garrett Hinshaw will share how leading well is the result of myriad tough decisions that often nobody sees. 

Presentation of the Catawba Leadership Impact Award One of the ways to create a culture of leadership in our community is to recognize standout examples of quality leadership. This year's recipient of the second annual Catawba Leadership Impact Award will be announced and honored during the conference. 

12:00 PM: Conclusion


IChurch Hickory Campus

1740 Tate Boulevard Southeast
Hickory, NC 28601


Many thanks to the businesses and individuals helping to promote a stronger, flourishing Catawba Valley: 

Platinum Sponsors

Gold-Level Sponsors

Silver-Level Sponsors

Bronze-Level Sponsors

Lee Industries

Pepsi Cola Bottling Company


The Annual Conference sponsorships offer a valuable opportunity to support strong leadership in the Catawba Valley. Sponsorships range from $500 to $10K and every sponsorship includes a block of tickets to the conference.


Have a Promotional Code? Click "Enter Promotional Code" and enter your code to view tickets specific for your organization