Blue Ridge Institute Application for Participation

Thank you for your interest in attending the Blue Ridge Institute (BRI)! This annual conference is a unique development opportunity, where learning, leadership and renewal for community leaders are blended together in a beautiful, rustic environment. Thought-provoking professional development sessions each day lead into afternoons and evenings that offer a variety of optional activities from canoeing, hiking, and cookouts to softball and dancing. Members, affectionately called “Blue Ridgers,” may also choose to spend their time more quietly: relaxing, reading, or discussing the day’s presentation with colleagues. Networking with peer leaders happens everywhere at BRI – from the sessions, to the hiking trails, to the lakeside pier.

Families are also welcomed. In fact, children aged 4 to 17 have the opportunity to participate in the BRI Youth Leadership Academy (YLA). YLA is an incredible chance for children to learn, grow and make friends of their own while the BRI member takes part in the general professional development sessions. YLA is hosted by the faculty and students of the University of Tennessee, College of Social Work. Many children who attend each summer with their parent or grandparent look forward to it all year. This chance to blend work life with family is yet another unique and inspiring part of the BRI experience.

Once accepted, we strongly believe you will find BRI to be one of the most enriching and inspiring development experiences of your career. You will develop life-long friendships with other leaders, and become part of a robust network of professionals who dedicate their careers to helping others. We explore the shared challenges we face in providing service to our communities, as we learn from world-class speakers as well as each other. Additionally, and of equal importance, we renew and recharge ourselves through fellowship and fun activities in a secluded environment that fosters reflection, growth and relaxation.

Information & Application Instructions

  • Approval for attendance is based on your application responses outlining your professional accomplishments and interest in the unique type of experience BRI offers. We encourage you to provide thoughtful responses to each essay question.
  • There is no fee to apply. Approved applicants will be extended an invitation to register for BRI and applicable attendance fees will be collected at that time.
  • Deadline to apply for attendance at the 2017 Institute is July 1, 2017.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicant must be a community service leader or change agent working for or with the charitable sector involved in planning, development, and/or delivery functions of services that support communities, regions, states, nationally or internationally.
  • Applicant must hold a key leadership position (paid or volunteer) within their organization.
  • If the applicant is retired, they must have met the above criteria while employed.
  • A limited number of “Emerging Leaders” are accepted annually and include younger professionals (age 25–45) who are on a track to become CEO’s or high-level professionals in the community service field, but do not currently meet the nomination criteria. Once an active member, they enjoy full benefits of membership.
  • Active members who retire, or move to an organization or position that no longer meets the above criteria, may continue to participate.

Completed Application Checklist

In order to be considered for acceptance, all applications must be complete. Please be sure all the following elements are included in your application packet.

  • Completed Application including essay responses
  • Professional Photograph (forward .jpg or .png file below in the separate form provided)
  • Copy of current resume, and/or vitae

PLEASE NOTE: No payment is due when your application is submitted. If you are accepted, payment for conference fees will be collected during registration.


First Name *

Last Name *

Organization Name *

Position/Title *

Preferred Address:

Street *

City *

State *

Zip *

Business Phone * XXX-XXX-XXXX


Mobile Phone XXX-XXX-XXXX

Preferred E-mail Address *

Alternate E-mail Address

How did you hear about BRI? Please help us credit the correct source by listing it below.
BRI Leader's Name
Social Media - Please list site

Advertisement - Please list publication

Other Source - Please list source


Are you currently employed in the community services field? Yes No

Please answer the following based on your current employment. If you are currently unemployed or retired, please answer based on your last full-time employment, and provide the dates of such employment.

What is the scope of your organization? Please select which applies:

What is the nature of the community services, programs or activities your organization provides?

Briefly describe your job responsibilities, including the supervisory or management role that you occupy:

Please list any special skills, talents or training that you have:

Briefly describe any other characteristics or experiences that you believe the Review Committee should know about you when considering participation in the conference.


Directions: Please answer the following questions. Please attempt to limit your responses to 250 words or less per essay.

A. Give one example of a professional achievement. Please describe the achievement, your role in the effort, leadership qualities you demonstrated, how the effort affected others and any personal reflections you would like to share.

B. BRI is held in a beautiful and very rural setting and includes accommodations similar to a dorm-type setting (private rooms/bathrooms in older concrete block buildings inside a remote state park; there are some fully equipped cabins available as well). The conference has been likened to “summer camp for grown-ups.” Why does the leadership development and personal renewal this conference offers, in this setting, appeal to you?

C. Much of the learning and growth experienced at BRI is informal in nature and gleaned from conversations and relationships with the attendees. What qualities will you bring to the BRI family to further this type of learning?

D. In your opinion, what are the most significant problems facing our communities today? How do you or will you attempt to address these problems as a leader in your community?

E. In thinking about how you heard about BRI (a current member, saw an ad, found our website), what piqued your interest the most? Why do you feel BRI would be of value to you, professionally or personally?

We are excited to hear from you! Is there a message you would like to add?