Coffee County Leadership

What is Coffee County Leadership?

Download the Coffee County Leadership application.

Coffee County Leadership is a community program designed by concerned citizens to improve our community as a whole. The program promotes the education and training of persons for leadership and involvement in public affairs in the local area and established channels of communication among community leaders. Our goal is to identify and encourage community-minded people to: become more involved, help the local area become a better place to live and work, and accept assertive and dynamic leadership roles.

A solid program builds on a philosophical base of leadership and commitment to the common good in the belief that leaders with greater knowledge of the community would have better ideas to make better decisions. Participants' awareness broadens to encompass the past, present, and future. After discovering the diversity, issues, and potential of the community, they are encouraged to envision a preferred future. Finally, recognizing their personal stewardship and trusteeship of the community, citizen leaders are inspired to become active agents of the change for the common good.

Through a highly structured nine-month program, each session is carefully designed to present a wide range of opinions and perspectives to encourage discussions through lectures, panel presentations, tours, and a variety of group activities. The goal each day is to open the mind of each participant to the perspectives that surround each issue. Thoughtful consideration of these perspectives enables participants to become more visionary leaders of the community.


Coffee County Leadership is a personal development program designed to educate participants on community dynamics and issues while also motivating participants to develop and utilize their knowledge and leadership skills in addressing important
community issues and needs for the economic well-being and quality of life of Coffee County and our region.


  • Identify and select individuals with a sincere interest in the community and the potential for leadership opportunities.
  • Systematically educate and challenge the participants as to the dynamic of our area and needs and issues associated with the physical, economic, and cultural growth of our area.
  • Develop strong communication links among participants and present community leadership to provide common ground for working.
  • Stimulate increased participation and commitment of participants in the community through identification of organizational and individual opportunities for community involvement.

An orientation retreat traditionally begins the program at which time the
participants are introduced to the goals and objectives of the program and to acquaint
themselves with each other. This is accomplished by planning very informal getacquainted
activities for the first portion of the retreat. The following day, participants
begin the learning process with instruction in leadership skills, team building,
communication skills, and creative problem solving.

The curriculum provides for the development of basic as well as in-depth
knowledge of the community in such areas as education, economic and community
development, city and county government, law enforcement and the judicial process,
human needs and services, public infrastructure, and quality of life. Successful
completion of the program is recognized through a graduation and presentation of

Gattis Leadership

After one graduates from Coffee County Leadership, one has the opportunity to join the Gattis Leadership program that combines multiple counties. Gattis Leadership is an organization which was established in 2010 by a group of county leadership graduates in the Southern Middle Tennessee region. The organization is named in memory of the late Peggy Gattis, a well-respected Moore County Mayor. The Gattis Leadership Board is currently composed of representatives from ten Tennessee counties. Jim Malone of Lincoln County is the chairman of the board of directors. Edna Luna of Martin College is the facilitator for the program.

The purpose of Gattis Leadership is threefold: First, leaders will be enrolled in a sophisticated, leadership "graduate program" to build on their community certification. Second, since the leadership concept is taken beyond the county level to a regional level, members will share information and develop partnerships that strengthen the economy of the entire region. Third, a graduate of the program will have new information and resources to tackle the needs and address the strengths of his own community.