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Conference History

Founded in 1919 and governed by a Board of Directors from eleven southeastern states, the Conference is a dream come true for founders Reuben B. Robertson and E. G. Wilson.

Mr. Robertson was president of Champion Paper company and served as chairman of the Conference for eighteen years. Mr. Wilson, a career veteran of the YMCA, handled staff duties for thirty-three years.

The two founders of the Conference established early its dual spiritual and industrial foundation -- a foundation which is still the cornerstone of the oldest and largest meeting of its kind in the southeastern United States.

PURPOSES AND AIMS

TO BE CHALLENGED & INSPIRED. For almost a century, an integral part of the Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership has been teaching participants new ways to apply the principles of good human relations in the work place. In a retreat-like setting in the heart of the Blue Ridge mountains, speakers and participants alike share personal experiences.

WHO LEADS THE CONFERENCE? Renowned for attracting annually some of the most successful managers in America, the Blue Ridge Conference features speakers from many walks of life -- business leaders, coaches, educators, lawyers, teachers, and representatives from industry, the clergy and government. All proven leaders, the speakers offer Conference attendees a wealth of innovative management techniques and share many secrets to business success.

WHO BENEFITS FROM THE CONFERENCE? Newly promoted supervisors, staff personnel and other industry and business leaders who attend the Conference will gain a greater awareness of:

  • Management skills
  • Human relations expertise
  • Individual motivation
  • Company support
  • Employee rapport

For experienced supervisors, the Blue Ridge Conference offers review, reinforcement and new motivation. All attendees will leave the Conference with renewed energy and specific knowledge of techniques that can help them maintain a competitive edge in today's worldwide market place.

WHY SHOULD AN ORGANIZATION PARTICIPATE IN THE CONFERENCE? By sending delegates to the Blue Ridge Conference, companies can make an investment in their first-line supervisors and middle management personnel that will pay dividends for years to come. What the Conference means to each participant may be as varied as the number of individuals who attend. However, comments from participants are consistent in describing the Blue Ridge Experience as exceptional in its focus on leadership and human relations skills in an inspirational setting.

RETREAT, RENEWAL, INSPIRATION!!! Participants find that the Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership offers a unique combination of work and play. It offers a time to reflect upon and reassess one's leadership and human relations skills, as well as a time to enjoy relaxation and renewal through recreational pursuits.

Highlights of the Blue Ridge Conference, in addition to the outstanding speakers and discussion leaders, include viewing the majesty of the highest peaks east of the Rockies; walking along winding trails and ridges in the surrounding countryside; forging new friendships with peers; participating in golf, swimming and tennis; enjoying family-style meals in a casual, relaxed environment; and taking time for peace and self-reflection.

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