Join BRI

Membership Application

Thank you for your interest in the Blue Ridge Institute (BRI)! The BRI community is a unique development opportunity for executive-level community leaders. The pinnacle event of BRI every year is an annual conference where learning, leadership, and renewal 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 parents 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.

Application Instructions

Applying to BRI is simple. There is no application fee or membership dues.

Scroll to the button on the page and click the “Apply Now” button. You will be taken to our online application. Fully complete the application and submit it electronically to be considered for BRI membership. The deadline to apply for attendance is July 1st prior to the annual conference.

Applications are considered based on your professional accomplishments. We encourage you to provide thoughtful responses to each question provided.

Approved applicants will be extended an invitation to attend our annual BRI conference. All conference attendance fees apply at the time of registration. 

Eligibility Criteria

Applicant must be employed by a community service organization working for the charitable organization in planning, development, or service delivery functions that support communities locally, regionally, statewide, nationally, or internationally.

Applicants must hold a paid or volunteer executive-level leadership position (Board, CEO, ED, or report directly to the CEO or ED) within your charitable organization.

If the applicant is retired, they must have met the above criteria while employed.

Active members who retire, move to another organization, or change position in the same organization, but no longer meet the above criteria, the member may continue to participate in BRI. Once a Blue Ridger – Always a Blue Ridger!

Completed Application

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

  • Completed Application including essay responses
  • Once the application is completed, someone will reach out to you for a professional photograph (forward .jpg or .png file below in the separate form provided and a copy of current resume, and/or vitae

PLEASE NOTE: There is no application fee and no membership dues.