Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to some of your Leadership Sevier questions

What is Leadership Sevier?

Leadership Sevier is a private corporation registered by the State of Tennessee as a not for profit organization. It is also approved by US Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)3 organization. It is not formally affiliated with any government or chamber of commerce.

What do you do?

Leadership Sevier helps develop leaders in becoming more actively involved in the Sevier County community.
Primary Purposes Include:

    • Identifying and selecting current and emerging leaders within the community
    • Strengthen participants knowledge and understanding of the community, its relevant issues, and each other through a series of monthly sessions
    • To challenge and motivate participants in becoming even more committed, through leadership involvement, to the future of Sevier County

Do any other communities have such an organization?

Yes. There is a community leadership development program in almost all of Tennessee’s counties. For the last 30 years, many communities in the United States and a few foreign countries have operated such organizations.

Is Leadership Sevier affiliated with any other such program?

Yes. It is a member of the East Tennessee Regional Leadership Association, the Tennessee Association of Community Leadership, and the Association of Leadership Professionals.

Who can become a member?

Membership required nomination, acceptance, and completion of Leadership Sevier or Leadership Tomorrow. Potential nominees may include anyone who is an active leader or potential leader in Sevier County.

How do you become a member?

Nominations for Leadership Sevier are accepted until early September. Selections are made beginning in September by the Leadership Sevier Board. Nominations for Leadership Tomorrow are accepted until April. Selections are made beginning in May by the Leadership Tomorrow Advisory Board. Nomination forms for both programs are published in The Mountain Press or supplied by the Leadership Sevier Office. Application and Nomination forms are available on this website.

Potential participants in the Smoky Mountain Youth Leadership program may make application in March/April through their high school counselor. Applications are available from the counselors or the Leadership Sevier office. Participants are selected by the Smoky Mountain Youth Leadership Coordinating Committee.

Who makes the nominations?

Anyone can nominate someone and applicants may apply on their own.

Is it for certain ages?

No. Anyone, from Sevier County high school sophomores to post-retirement adults, is eligible for selection. Our oldest participant, to date, was 84 years old at the time of her completion of the program. And she continued active leadership involvement for several years afterward.

Who started Leadership Sevier?

Robbie Fox, Judge Gary Wade, John B. Waters II, and R. B. Summitt II started Leadership Sevier. They knew about the Leadership Knoxville Program and had the vision of such a program becoming a catalyst for leaders in Sevier County. Their goal to bring people together from different perspectives to accomplish things for the benefit of all Sevier County residents and visitors is vibrant in today’s programs.

Is Leadership Sevier affiliated with any Chamber of Commerce?

No. It is a private, not for profit organization.

How are you funded?

Currently, funds are received from four sources:

  • Participant tuition
  • Annual graduate dues
  • Member fundraising events
  • Donations from companies, organizations, and individuals

What is the Bob Gonia Scholarship Fund?

The Bob Gonia Scholarship Fund is a fund established in 2002 upon the passing of the founding Dean and Executive Director of Leadership Sevier. The purpose for this scholarship program is to provide some financial contribution to the tuition of people selected to participate in one of the programs operated by Leadership Sevier Inc., Leadership Sevier, Leadership Tomorrow, and Smoky Mountain Youth Leadership.