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WCU Stories

Programs to focus on ‘Nonprofit Storytelling,’ leadership, Six Sigma

Western Carolina University’s Office of Professional Growth and Enrichment will be offering programs in storytelling for nonprofits, leadership and Six Sigma for health care professionals over upcoming weeks in Asheville.

A workshop in “Nonprofit Storytelling” is set for 1 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, at the Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville. Barrie Barton of Stand & Deliver Asheville will serve as instructor.

Barrie Barton

“Stories captivate the attention of your audience because they illustrate your mission in action,” said Barton. “Stating your vision isn’t enough to move people to act. By telling a story (about) how that mission reveals itself through real people, actions and results creates emotionally invested listeners and loyal champions to your organization."

Participants will be guided through experiential and engaging activities related to storytelling, delivery skills, performance tips and speech crafting. Working in small groups and individually, attendees will have an opportunity to practice, hone and perform for each other and will be able to walk away with applicable tools for a winning presentation, Barton said.

The registration fee for the workshop is $97. For more information and to register, visit and click on “For-profit and Nonprofit Professional Development Workshops.”

A “High-Impact Leadership” certificate program will be offered Monday, Sept. 16, through Friday, Sept. 20, at WCU’s Biltmore Park instructional site in Asheville. The program will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. on Friday. It is designed for individuals who want to take their careers to the next level to become high-impact leaders.

Participants will have an opportunity to discover their own leadership styles by completing a DiSC personality assessment tool. Leaders will learn how to improve communication and the group dynamic within their teams by learning to adapt to the behavioral differences of others.

“To be effective, leaders need to be competent communicators,” said Betty Farmer, one of the workshop leaders and an award-winning professor of communication at WCU.

“Whether it is inspiring followers to rally behind a vision, championing change or stepping into the media spotlight, communication is an essential leadership skill. ‘High-Impact Leadership’ participants will assess their current leadership communication skills and learn best practices for leadership communication that they can apply immediately,” Farmer said.

Workshop leaders, in addition to Farmer, are Susan Fouts, WCU executive director of educational outreach, and Jon Yarbrough, attorney at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete.

Todd Creasy

On Friday, Ken Sanney, associate professor of business law at WCU, will lead a session on leadership ethics, and Kit Cramer, Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, will deliver a keynote talk.

The registration fee for the program is $849, and the nonprofit rate is $649.

Six Sigma yellow belt training for health care professionals is set for Tuesday, Sept. 24, through Friday, Sept. 27, at the Biltmore Park site. The workshop will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 9 a.m. until noon on Friday. WCU business faculty member Todd Creasy, a Juran Institute-certified master black belt in Six Sigma, will serve as instructor.

“This program, designed specifically for health care professionals, offers ideas and tools for immediate use at your health care organization,” said Creasy. “Six Sigma participants will learn how other health care organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins University and the Cleveland Clinic have utilized Six Sigma to improve patient quality.”

The early registration fee is $899. After Sept. 1, the fee rises to $999. Continuing education credits are available.

For more information and to register for the “High-Impact Leadership” program or Six Sigma training, visit or call 828-227-7397.


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