Professional Development Series

Overview: Open to employees in WNC Diversity Engagement Coalition member organizations, community members, and students who would like to better position themselves for advancement.  Students may be eligible for service learning or internship time, and we welcome/support student involvement by offering student caucuses throughout the experience!

Acknowledgement of Completion: Participants that complete 4+ sessions will receive a Certificate of Completion, endorsed by WNC DEC (a great accolade to share with current + future employers!)

Learning Objectives:

+ Engage young professionals, students, retirees, employers and the public on the topic, conversation and work of professional development, workforce development, and career readiness.
+ Build and strengthen relationships with other Human Resource professionals
+ Manage conflict and navigate challenges in the workplace environment.
+ Navigate diversity, equity and inclusion within workplace culture.
+ Create a concept of shifting organizational culture, toward inclusivity.
+ Developing and deepening leadership skills while increasing your value.


 (2019) Session Schedule

session I:  TUESDAY, MAY 7TH, 2019 @ 5PM

Resume Building & Consultation // Homework Diner

Hosted at Asheville Middle School, 211 S French Broad Ave, Asheville, NC 28801


Event Concluded.

session ii:  thursday-saturday, august 29, 2019 @ YWCA of AVL

Co-Sponsored by YWCA of Asheville, 185 S French Broad Ave, NC 28801

Power of Networking Mini-Conference


Event Concluded.


a part of the WNC Diversity Engagement Coalition Professional Development Series



Power of Networking Mini-Conference, offers parents, young professionals, and community members an opportunity to hear from community leaders + local facilitators on how networking has worked for them and gain practical tools in relationship building. The mini-conference will consist of workshops,conversations, interactive sessions, and a community resource table. By the end of the day, we will host hands-on activities, and ALL participants in the mini-conference will get an invitation to the WNC DEC Networking Social (Sep 5th) to apply their polished networking skills! Keynotes by Dr. Joseph Fox (pictured), and Libby Kyles (CEO, YWCA of Asheville).


The mini-conference will consist of workshops, conversations, interactive session, and a community resource table.

12:30pm | WELCOMING - Keynote: Libby Kyles, CEO, YWCA of Asheville

In this keynote address, we will hear from Libby Kyles on the YWCA community and how the work of eliminating racism, and empowering women is moving forward, alongside community and with a renewed focus and vision.

1pm | INDUSTRY PANEL - Perspective on Networking

In this facilitated panel, we will hear from Human Resource, Equity, Human Relations, and Training professionals on how traditionally people and opportunity has moved through communities and organizations. Featuring industry panelists:

Phillip Cooper, UpSkill WNC Coordinator, AB-Tech
Stephanie Craig, Human Resource Manager, City of Asheville


2:15pm | COMMUNITY PANEL - Perspective on Networking

In this facilitated panel, we will hear from community members, leaders, youth, and organizational leaders on how relationships have helped them achieve success, and challenges with traditional institutions along the way. Featuring community panelists:

Cleaster Cotton, Artist / Educator / Inventor / Author,
Kasia Maatafale, Results Specialist, NC Center for Health & Wellness
Jason Muhammad, Founder & Director, Leadership Consulting
Bruce Waller, Community School Coordinator, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County


3:30pm | CLOSING - Keynote: Dr. Joseph Fox, "Navigating Traditional & Non-Traditional Networking"

In this interactive session, we will work as a large, and small groups to do this work: Acknowledging What Does & Does Not Work for People of Color; Identifying Difference Between Being a Coach, Mentor, or Advocate; and Setting Yourself up for Networking Success.

4pm | OPEN NETWORKING - Network, and build relationships with other professionals and community members!


Program support provided by Fox Management & Consulting. Venue sponsored and hosted by YWCA of Asheville.  

session iii: thursday, october 10-november 14, 2019 @ 6pm


The Culture of (Organizational) Inclusion

Hosted by MAHEC Education Campus, 121 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville, NC 28803

WEEK i:  Implicit Association Test + Analysis | OCT 10, 2019

Stay tuned for Session Overview & Facilitator!

WEEK iI:  Policies & Accountability | OCT 17, 2019

Stay tuned for Session Overview & Facilitator!

WEEK iii:  Power & Decision-Making | OCT 24, 2019

Stay tuned for Session Overview & Facilitator!

zero week:  OCT 31, 2019 [makeup date]

This date is a makeup in case of inclement weather, or for participants to makeup time.

WEEK Iv:  Creating a Culture of Trust of Values | Nov 7, 2019

Stay tuned for Session Overview & Facilitator!

WEEK V:  Strategies, Ideation & Implicit Association | nov 14, 2019

Stay tuned for Session Overview & Facilitator!

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FINALE:  Integration + Celebration.

Thursday, November 14, 2019 |  MAHEC

Family & friends are invited as we celebrate the graduates of the Professional Development Series, share what we’ve learned and strategize on next steps.


  • Use the “speed networking” technique

  • Reflection and discussion of learning experiences from overall series

  • Graduation, celebration, and awarding of certificates!