Where Leadership Grows

A photo tour of The BB&T Leadership Institute’s Kelly S. King Center

Kate Reece, president of the Center for Private Business at Wake Forest University, shares favorite moments about participating in multiday programs at The Kelly S. King Center of The BB&T Leadership Institute.

As president of the Center for Private Business(opens in a new tab) at Wake Forest University, Kate Reece and her staff help 200 closely held and family-owned businesses in North Carolina achieve their business goals. Supporting these leaders means having strong leadership skills on her team, too.

So after she finished Mastering Leadership Dynamics™, she brought 10 of her employees to participate in the Team Optimization Process™ program with her. "Our team accomplished a great deal in our two days there, including refining our priorities as an organization, and determining the skills present on the team to accomplish them," Reece said. 

Here are some of her favorite aspects of participating in multiday programs at The BB&T Leadership Institute…

Relax at the fire pit

When participants attend multiday programs, it’s common for them to gather around the outdoor fire pit at night, eat s’mores and share stories from their personal or professional lives. “It feels like you are camping,” said Reece. “It was a very nice experience to just sit and relax. As a working mom with three children, I don’t sit down and eat s’mores very often. In fact, I don’t sit down much at all. It’s really remarkable to be able to sit down and hit the pause button.”

Learn from knowledgeable, personable experts

“Eileen Hogan was our facilitator for Mastering Leadership Dynamics and Team Optimization Process. She is so great!” said Reece. “In Mastering Leadership Dynamics, she allows people to talk and open up. Eileen doesn’t press too hard, but she helps people to learn new things about themselves in a way that is comfortable for them. I can’t recommend her highly enough.”

Experience best-in-class service

“The guest rooms are lovely,” said Reece. “They very much fit with The Leadership Institute’s overall peaceful, quiet and reflective atmosphere.” The Leadership Institute’s 12 full-time hospitality staff members pride themselves on providing superior service. “Karen Gilliam would greet us every morning and basically said to our team, ‘Whatever you want, we’ll get it for you,’” said Reece. “To me, that is amazing. She is so warm and kind. It is terrific to have such a friendly face greet you in the morning.”

Kate Reece is president of The Center for Private Business at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Invest in your company’s future

Some executives and company owners are reluctant to spend two or more days away from their businesses for any reason. Reece understands this concern but suggests that escaping the daily grind is impactful. “You can’t compare the fully immersive on-site experience that The BB&T Leadership Institute provides to executive training you get in a convention center or gray-walled conference room. In a program at The Leadership Institute, you can disconnect from your day-to-day responsibilities and fully take advantage of what this place offers in terms of leadership development,” she said. “Being here is a respite. It provides you with the precious time every executive needs to work on their business and plan for its future. And when you return, you’re better equipped to run the business.”

And, enjoy the views

One of the distinguishing characteristics of The BB&T Leadership Institute is its wooded 11-acre campus, where oak, birch and magnolia trees grow. “I love the main building’s outdoor wraparound deck,” said Reece. “It just invites you to sit down. The Leadership Institute’s campus is relaxing and peaceful. It’s a sanctuary in which you can disengage from the daily grind.”

Debbie Garcia-Gratacos

“When you participate in a program at The Leadership Institute you can disconnect from your day-to-day responsibilities and fully take advantage of what The Leadership Institute offers in terms of leadership development.” Kate Reece, President of Wake Forest University's Center for Private Business

Looking for double impact?

Learn more about individual and team programs with The BB&T Leadership Institute.

View programsfrom The BB&T Leadership Institute

And discover what The Center for Private Business has to offer.

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The two organizations partner to hold two-day forums at The Kelly S. King Center on topics such as business succession, strategic planning and company culture. 

By Jack Rosenberger

Photography by Black Horse Studio

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