LEAD95 is a comprehensive training program designed for County Extension Directors. The objectives of the program are to:

  • increase competency,
  • increase job satisfaction, and
  • establish consistent leadership and direction across the Tennessee Extension system.

Program Requirements

Face-to-face sessions are held during each quarter. Sessions are 2 days long and held in the Nashville/Franklin area. At these sessions, county directors network with their peers and with administrators as they gain knowledge and develop new skills. These sessions provide time to reflect and learn from peers in a relaxed setting. They also enable county directors to step away from daily responsibilities and see their work through a broader lens. Content is focused on leadership and current/upcoming responsibilities.

Overview of Training Topics by Session

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Conflict Resolution

IAA Planning and Coaching

FranklinCovey’s The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team

Leadership Competencies in Extension (LCE) Assessment

Conducting Effective Performance Appraisals

Active Listening

Civil Rights Reporting

Effective Impact Reporting

County Agricultural Extension Committees

Program Area Expectations

County Budgets

Human Resources Overview

Interviewing, Hiring, and Disciplinary Procedures

Volunteers and Programs for Minors

Tact and Diplomacy

Mentoring and Coaching

Ethical Leadership

Communication Technology



Office Standards and Procedures

Modules are available on a wide variety of topics that county administrators need – such as communication skills, financial accounts, etc.; and these can be accessed and completed at your individual pace/convenience for professional development credit. Modules are accessed through the K@TE online learning system All online courses completed in K@TE receive training credit, which is reported to SUPER.

The following modules are accessed through the K@TE online learning system. One module will be assigned following each quarterly session.

  • Active Listening Skills for Professionals (1 hour)
  • Strategies for Communicating with Tact and Diplomacy (1 hour)
  • Conflict Resolution Foundations (1 hour)
  • Learning the County Financial Transaction Manual (1 hour)

Playlists are available in K@TE with suggested courses in the following areas.

The LEAD95 Toolkit is aimed at having information that County Directors need and use frequently all in one place.  It is searchable by keywords to help you find what you are looking for, and we continue to add to it as resources are developed and/or requested.

Click Here to Access the LEAD95 Toolkit (netID and password required)

The Leadership Competencies in Extension Assessment is a 360 degree feedback system that will provide County Directors with the perspective of the importance of and their level of proficiency in 81 competencies in six skill areas that have been identified for County Directors.

  • Human skills
  • Conceptual skills
  • Technical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Emotional intelligence skills
  • Industry knowledge skills

Raters will include the Regional Director, Direct Reports (county staff), Peers (other County Directors), and Stakeholders (community leaders such as the County Mayor). The LCE is conducted in the fall after a County Director has been in his or her role for at least 6 months.

New County Directors are assigned an experienced County Director mentor who will serve as a resource for administrative responsibilities of the County Director role.


LEAD95 was developed as an initiative from the UT Extension 2010-2020 Strategic Plan and launched in 2016.

An initiative team made up of County Directors conducted a needs assessment using a Delphi study to obtain input from county
employees representing different program areas and roles across the state. After completing the environmental
scan and needs assessment, the team developed and identified resources to address training needs.

Team Leader
Janet Cluck, County Director, Dickson County

Team Members
Theresa Allan, Extension Agent, Sumner County
Bob Ary, County Director, Sumner County
Greg Austin, County Director, Monroe County
Walter Battle, County Director, Haywood County
Tim Campbell, Extension Agent, Dyer County
Shannon DeWitt, County Director, Union County
Chris Hicks, County Director, Smith County
Jerry Lamb, County Director, Rhea County
Becky Muller, County Director, Tipton County
Allisen Penn, Regional FCS Program Leader, Central Region
John Ricketts, Assistant Professor, Tennessee State University
Jeff Via, County Director, Fayette County
Tim Woods, County Director, McMinn County

Ex Officio
Shirley Hastings, UT Extension Strategic Planning
Brandi Berven, UT Extension Strategic Planning

How to Enroll in LEAD95

LEAD95 is required for all new County Directors and is open to current County Directors. Once a County Director has been appointed, the Regional Director will contact the Staff Development Specialist in the department of Extension Evaluation & Staff Development to enroll in the LEAD95 program. New County Directors will begin the program with the next upcoming quarterly session.

Current County Directors wishing to complete LEAD95 should discuss with their Regional Director. Current County Directors will begin LEAD95 at the next summer quarterly session.

Upcoming Dates

  • July 11-13, 2023
  • October 24-25, 2023
  • January 23-24, 2024
  • April 3-4, 2024
  • July 11, 2024 – Committee Only
  • October 22, 2024
  • January 17, 2025 – Regional Meeting
  • April 2-3, 2025
  • May 14, 2025 – Regional Meeting
  • August 26, 2025 – Regional Meeting


Program Administration

Brandi Berven Profile Page
Brandi Berven
Extension Specialist I, Extension Evaluation and Staff Development
Amy Kirk Profile Page
Amy Kirk
Business Manager, Extension Evaluation and Staff Development

LEAD95 Committee

Past Chair 2023 – 2024 and Current Chair 2024 – 2025

Brigitte Passman Profile Page
Brigitte Passman
Ext Agent II & Co Director, Tipton County
Greg Paxton Profile Page
Greg Paxton
Ext Agent III & Co Dir, Polk County

Committee Members

Eastern Region
Amelia Sturgill Profile Page
Amelia Sturgill
Extension Agent I & Co Director, Scott County
Sarah Elizabeth Orr Profile Page
Sarah Elizabeth Orr
Extension Agent II & Co. Director, Cocke County
Jessica Wilkinson Smith Profile Page
Jessica Wilkinson Smith
Extension Agent II & County Dir, Roane County
Central Region
Dannie Bradford Profile Page
Dannie Bradford
TSU-Ext Agent III & County Director, Marion County
Haley Lynn Barnes Profile Page
Haley Lynn Barnes
Ext Agent II & County Director, Clay County
Matt Horsman Profile Page
Matt Horsman
Ext Agent III & County Director, Williamson County
Dill D Hughes Profile Page
Dill D Hughes
Ext Agent III & Co Director, Jackson County
Western Region
Michele Atkins Profile Page
Michele Atkins
Ext Agent III and Co Dir, Henry County
Heather Ann Smith Profile Page
Heather Ann Smith
Ext Agent III & Co Dir, Benton County
Bronson Bass Profile Page
Bronson Bass
Ext Agent I & Co Dir, Weakley County