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Leadership DeKalb | Learn. Connect. Advance.

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About Leadership DeKalb

A respected leadership development program in DeKalb County, Leadership DeKalb was founded in 1986 by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce to educate community leaders and to address issues facing the growing population. In 1994, Leadership DeKalb became an independent nonprofit organization. Since then, more than 1,000 community leaders have completed the program. Graduates of the program include CEO’s of top public and private companies, as well as a large number of DeKalb’s elected officials, educators, judges, entrepreneurs, volunteers and nonprofit leaders.

Leadership DeKalb convenes and connects leaders, informs them on matters vital to the county and enhances their leadership skills. This strengthened pipeline of talent immerses in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, thereby advancing quality of life in DeKalb.

With focus on the entire county, we position current and emerging leaders – reflecting the area’s rich diversity – to unite, commit and act to make DeKalb a premier place to live, work and enjoy life.

Class members learn about history, diversity, government, justice, arts and culture, education, health and economic development in the county. Classmates and alumni gain access to other leaders in all of these sectors. With over 1,000 alumni, we facilitate long-term leadership sustainability.

Leadership DeKalb Team

Gulzar Ajani

Interim Executive Director


Board Of Directors

Corregio Peagler ’98 (Executive Committee, Board Chair)


Marquetta J. Bryan ’16 (Executive Committee, Chair-elect)


Brent Adams ‘17 (Executive Committee, Treasurer)

Senior Vice President and Area Executive

Anne Lerner ’14 (Executive Committee, Secretary)

Senior Communications Strategist, Jackson Spalding

Mike Jacobs ‘16 (Executive Committee, Program Chair)


Marshall Guest ’15 (Executive Committee, At-Large)

Vice-President of Business Climate

Toni Hannah ‘15 (Executive Committee, At-Large)

Area Manager

Andrea Arnold '01

City Manager

John Bayalis ‘17

Manager, Intergovernmental Affairs

Tarsha Calloway ‘18

Vice-President of Advancement

Tremese Davis ‘15

Director, Supplier Diversity

Dorian DeBarr ‘18

Interim President

Jim Forstner ‘13


Matt Hicks ‘02

Vice-President of Governmental Relations

LaTisha Dear Jackson ‘06

Superior Court Judge

Paul Jacxsens ’12

Director of Specialty Care Operations & Strategy

Martha Pacini ‘15

Senior Associate

Mindy Pillow ‘11


Alecea Quintyne ‘16

Implementation Manager

Shara Garwood Sanders ‘17


Melvin Washington '19

Founder and Owner

Joshua Williams ‘15

Deputy Chief Operating Officer

Sandy Zayac ‘15