October 6, 2017
Spotlight Article: Director of Leadership Development, Charlotte Bian-Lingle
Short Bio about Charlotte:
Charlotte Bian-Lingle is a Columbia native and received a political science degree from Queens University of Charlotte. Prior to joining the Chamber, Charlotte worked with a variety of political campaigns, from the Carolinas to Colorado and to Edinburgh, Scotland.
Charlotte oversees programs such as the Leadership Columbia program and the Leadership Columbia Alumni Association. The Chamber’s Leadership Development programs strive to provide our community with an enduring source of diverse leaders who are prepared and committed to serving their region. These groups focus on developing leaders within our community and provide training, networking, and community service opportunities for members.
Q: How long have you been in Columbia?
A: I moved back to Columbia from Charlotte, NC in December of 2016. I loved being in a bigger city, like Charlotte, but missed the sense of community that I had growing up in Columbia.
Q: Have you noticed any changes in Columbia? If so, how much and in what ways?
A: Columbia has been evolving and improving rapidly over the last several years. New restaurants, the development of Main Street, community-oriented events and festivals, and the rapid growth of the University – all of these things have helped Columbia become a great place to live, grow a business, and have some fun.
Q: What is Leadership Columbia?
A: Sponsored by the Columbia Chamber, the Leadership Columbia (LC) program provides existing and emerging leaders with opportunities to enhance their civic knowledge and network. For over 40 years, the program has helped participants better understand how our community works, build relationships with the region’s current and future leaders and become inspired to focus their talents in a way that will best serve the community.
Q: What are the benefits of participating in Leadership Columbia?
A: Throughout the 10 month program, participants have the ability to gain an in-depth view of community issues and participate in the key discussion with community leaders. Leadership Columbia participants develop the skills necessary to assume leadership roles and also become exposed to opportunities for community involvement.
Q: Through what ways does Leadership Columbia affect the Columbia community?
A: I believe the largest way this program affects change in the community is through the project that each class champions, throughout the year each class selects and implements a project designed to meet essential needs in the Midlands. The project provides participants with the guidance and tools to turn concepts into workable projects and solutions. It truly culminates the Leadership Columbia experience, directly correlating with themes explored during class sessions.
Q: What does the Leadership Columbia program mean to you?
A: One of the primary goals of Leadership Columbia is to encourage individual involvement in leadership roles within the community. Coming from a political background, I understand how important an individual’s participation is to create lasting change. The Leadership Columbia program gives participants a birds-eye view of the issues that are significant to the area. We want Columbia to be the best it can be, and the only way we can do that is by getting involved and taking a leadership role.
Q: What is Leadership Columbia Alumni Association (LCAA) and what are the benefits for LC Alumni to participate?
A: The Leadership Columbia class participants are exposed to individuals and experiences designed to challenge and mold individuals into extraordinary leaders. LCAA members are given the chance to deepen their leadership skills and further impact communities, companies, organizations, and lives. LCAA holds Leadership Luncheons that have had speakers such as: Marcus Lattimore, former Governor Nikki Haley, Dr. Harris Pastides, and many more influential leaders. LCAA also hosts events like the ELM Society Social and the Women’s Leadership Summit. It is also a nice networking tool!
Q: As a Columbia native, what are your favorite thing to do/place to go in Columbia?
A: I love going to the Soda City Market, on a Saturday morning, visiting our fantastic zoo, going to any Carolina sporting event, and grabbing a cocktail at any of my favorite watering holes in the Vista or on Main Street! It’s difficult to choose just one favorite thing to do – now a days!