We are the visionaries. We saw the future and its potential and had the courage to turn our ideas into action.
Joyce Waddell
LC Class 7
North Carolina State Senator

Before serving a third term as State Senator, Joyce Waddell was an LC graduate. “I was appointed to the Women’s Commission, my first appointment on a county board, as a result of being enrolled in LC,” says Waddell. “I have been a mentor for many interested persons who wanted to be elected to public office. This helped to enhance their public services.”

Joyce Waddell
Katie Tyler
LC Class 10
Founder, Tyler 2 Construction

During the LC opening retreat, Katie Tyler’s classmates named her team leader. “I was terrified,” she says. “My volunteer leadership skills were not something I would call a strength.” She was working 80+ hours a week at her construction company, which left zero time for volunteering. During the retreat, she learned how to listen to people in her group and communicate in a way that others would really hear her message. “I point to that experience as an awakening of something in me,” Katie says. “Living in Southeast Charlotte, I assumed everyone in the Charlotte community had the opportunities and challenges as me that could be overcome with diligence and hard work.” But throughout LC, she quickly began to see that not all Charlotte residents have the same support systems or resources to tackle big issues. Since graduating, Katie has gone from zero volunteer activity to serving on 28 boards. “My volunteer experiences equal my professional career and I am richer because of it. I like to think my involvement has made a difference in Charlotte. It certainly has made a difference in me.”

Sid Smith
LC Class 1
Owner, SALCO Consulting LLC

“What do we do now?” That was the biggest question Sid Smith and his classmates from LC Class 1 faced. “Each of us was motivated to get involved in leadership roles in other volunteer organizations, but our small class would’ve quickly been absorbed by all of the opportunities and needs in the community,” says Smith. “The answer was simple: Keep LC going to continuously train new leaders for years to come.” Smith and his classmates started a small board of directors that helped plan LC’s second and third year. “We started thinking about future funding and continually seeking out new, qualified candidates to take the class,” says Smith. “I don’t think it was that we could ‘see the future;’ it was that we could see the need.”

Jim Rogers
LC Class 1
Senior Vice President, Flagship Healthcare Properties

Jim Rogers arrived in Charlotte in 1969 after discharge from active duty with the U.S. Air Force. “LC opened many doors for me to become involved in the Charlotte community and to be a part of and advocate for education, the arts, church, non-profits, and business efforts,” says Rogers. “LC gave me the ability to connect to those areas in Charlotte that make things happen, both business and non-profit, and an opportunity to engage in a responsible way.”

John Lassiter
LC Class 9
President, Carolina Legal Staffing

“With the encouragement of many of my LC 9 classmates, I was able to serve on the board for Charlotte-Mecklenburg School and later for Charlotte City Council,” says John Lassiter. John and his wife moved to Charlotte when John joined the legal department at Belk, Inc. Belk encouraged its employees to get involved in the community and John had served on a few boards before joining LC. But during his LC experience, he started his own business and was able to define its role within the community. “I learned to integrate service as a part of our business mission,” John says. His community involvement shows no sign of slowing. “Recently, I have served as founding chair of the Economic Development Partnership for North Carolina and as CEO of the Host Committee for the Republican National Convention in 2020.”

Arthur Griffin
LC Class 1
Former Senior Vice President, McGraw-Hill Education

It’s a wonder whether the early Arthur Griffin, the one that had just returned home to Charlotte from a duty tour in Vietnam working at the at Legal Aid Society, could’ve predicted his future leadership roles. The list of boards that Arthur has served on is long. It includes the Head Start Policy Council, the Mecklenburg County Board of Social Services, the Human Services Council, and the NEQP Advisory Board. Add to that list, chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, trustee for the Central Piedmont Community College, and chair of the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, a position he holds currently. Like for so many community activists, LC was a catalyst for Arthur. As he describes it, “Interacting with LC participants provided me the encouragement, inspiration, and hope for a more just community.”