CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., July 14, 2009 — Christy LeGrand, projects coordinator for the Missouri Research Corporation at Southeast Missouri State University, recently was recognized by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) with its inaugural “Spirit of Service” award at its annual conference in Memphis, Tenn.
Presenting the award were Pete Johnson, federal co-chair for the DRA, and Dr. Carolyn Dahl, project leader of the Delta Leadership Institute from the University of Alabama.
In 2006, the Missouri Governor’s Office selected LeGrand to participate in the Delta Leadership Institute (DLI), a year-long program which focuses on building regional leadership skills among participants from the DRA’s eight-state region — Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Counties and parishes of each state are federally designated due to poor economic indicators as part of the Delta Regional Authority. Together, they total 252. Missouri has 29 counties in its southeast quadrant that are so designated.
Each year, 30 to 40 individuals graduate from the institute and are encouraged to become part of the institute’s alumni group called the Delta Leadership Network and continue interaction and project work with their peers. LeGrand helped develop the framework for the alumni group and has been active in work with the DRA board and the University of Alabama to seek funding to sustain regional activities.
LeGrand will begin as project manager in September, helping to establish the alumni advisory board and facilitate connection, networking, and project work among members. Since her graduation in 2007, LeGrand has remained active in helping establish the network, and because of her efforts, she was presented the Spirit of Service Award.
The aim of the DRA is to create an extensive network of involved, regionally-thinking leaders who will help stimulate positive economic and social activity to help the Delta Region keep pace with the rest of the nation in education, health, transportation and economic development.