Ridgeway is an immersive year-long leadership, organizational and network development program tailored to Central Appalachian leaders that offers: 

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Intensive Retreat Sessions

Participants learn and practice elements of the curriculum through a series of multi-day overnight retreats.  The curriculum is centered on deepening personal awareness and interpersonal skills that support us in being more adaptive and resilient in our lives and leadership.  Most of our sessions are facilitated indoors, though we also take advantage of the natural settings around us and spend some of our session time outdoors as well.  

In addition to our curriculum sessions, the retreats offer time for people to build relationships as a cohort socially and enjoy the natural environment on their own or with other members of the cohort.  We eat well while we're together with all of our meals catered on site by chefs who source as much local food as possible and provide us with great nourishment to fuel the intensive personal and interpersonal work we're doing.  We also support other entrepreneurs near our retreat sites by meeting the evening prior to each retreat at a local restaurant.

Coaching & Accountability Support

Professional coaching by phone from the program facilitator is available to participants on a regular basis to support people in applying learning and practices from the program as well as to address personal and organizational goals and challenges identified by participants.  A partner system for peer accountability also serves as a support network and learning forum for each participant alongside the professional coaching.

Participants after an outdoor group somatic activity.  (photo by Erica Chambers)

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Personal Assessments & Development Plans

Individual and group assessments which support participants’ learning and practice are provided through the program including 360° assessments, leadership and communication style assessments, team assessments, personality and lifestyle as well as other assessment tools.  Participants are also offered a system and support for creating and tracking progress on a personal development plan that outlines individual commitments and outcomes to be met within the program period and beyond.

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Organizational / Community Development Option

Participants who are interested are supported in tailoring content from the program into their work settings to help advance particular organization, business, agency and/or community goals. Sharing elements of the curriculum in this way allows participants to develop the experience and confidence to translate their learning into their work settings and also extends the content to colleagues and community members who can help further apply and reinforce new learning and practices within the work context.

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Reunion Gatherings & Retreats

People who have participated in the initial cohort experience will have the opportunity to join reunion gatherings & retreats that offer new content as well as refresh and deepen prior content. These reunions allow participants to re-connect as a cohort as well as build relationships with members of other cohorts and establish a platform for ongoing learning, practice and dialogue at the personal, organizational and regional level.  Sometimes people get back together just for fun, too!


Ridgeway’s program design and curriculum are based in experience and research of models at the local and national levels as well as ongoing consultation with stakeholders and participants to tailor content for the greatest value among leaders, organizations and networks in Central Appalachia.