NCACCBOLIVIA,  N.C. — Brunswick County Commissioners Marty Cooke, Pat Sykes and Frank Williams have been recognized by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners for their achievements in the Local Elected Leaders Academy.

The Local Elected Leaders Academy (LELA), a partnership with the UNC School of Government, the N.C. Association of County Commissioners and the N.C. League of Municipalities, offers local elected officials the knowledge and skills needed to lead and govern their communities.

Commissioners Sykes and Williams were recognized by the NCACC for meeting the requirements for the Practitioner level in the LELA. Commissioner Cooke was recognized by the NCACC for meeting the requirements for the Master level in the LELA. A Practitioner has completed a minimum of 48 credits (18 orientation credits + 18 focused in-depth credits + 12 elective credits). A Master has completed a minimum of 66 credits (18 orientation credits + 30 focused in-depth credits + 18 elective credits).

County commissioners are recognized for their participation in both educational programs and service to the Association. The starting place for earning credits is the orientation program, the Essentials of County Government. As commissioners increase education and service, they earn credits toward recognition at three levels: Practitioner, Master and Mentor. The NCACC tracks credits and recognizes participation every year at the Annual Conference.

“LELA recognizes county commissioners who have dedicated themselves to becoming effective local leaders for their communities,” said NCACC Executive Director Kevin Leonard. “The roles and responsibilities of county commissioners are constantly changing, and the LELA program helps them keep up with the latest information.”

“The LELA opportunity is an incredible experience which is a great asset to help folks be better and more effective as elected officials,” Commissioner Cooke said.

Commissioner Sykes echoed his sentiments, adding, “It’s a great opportunity to help us with our jobs as County Commissioners.”

“I believe leaders should constantly strive to improve their skills and base of knowledge, and the Local Elected Leaders Academy provides an opportunity to do just that,” said Commissioner Williams. “The coursework is valuable, but the opportunity to interact with and learn from commissioners serving in other counties is equally important. One of the courses I attended focused on strategic planning for public bodies, and I look forward to putting that information to work as we revise and update Brunswick County’s strategic vision in the coming months.”