Brushy Fork Annual Institute

Train the Trainer: The Brushy Fork Community Leadership Curriculum

Track Leaders: Peter Hille and Mark Nigro

Every community needs a way to continually build the pool of engaged leaders. Brushy Fork has created a leadership curriculum that draws on more than twenty years of experience in Appalachian communities. Designed to be managed and implemented by local volunteers, the curriculum uses Brushy Fork materials to engage participants in exploring and developing their leadership for community development. Detailed instructions guide the local coordinators who will run the program. In this track, you will learn everything you need to know to organize your local program and conduct the workshops.

Track capacity: 25

Who should attend?

Engaged citizens who are ready and willing to take responsibility for running a local leadership program. Participants will need sufficient time available to dedicate to this work, either as volunteers or as part of their job.

What can I expect to learn?

  • How to organize and run a local leadership program.
  • How to recruit participants.
  • How to conduct the sessions for the leadership program and how to partner with resource people as needed.

Physical tools and takeaways from this session: 

A copy of the Brushy Fork Community Leadership Curriculum, containing all materials needed to run the program, including supporting media and handouts.

What past participants are saying:

“After coming to the Annual Institute you definitely feel that you can grab the ‘bull by the horns’ and change the world.”

“The prepared curriculum is packaged in a way that it can be taken right back to my community and implemented immediately.”


Peter Hille serves as Executive Vice President of MACED, The Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, located in Berea, Kentucky. MACED has a thirty-five year history of serving Appalachian people, businesses and communities with a mission of creating wealth, raising expectations and building vibrant communities across the region. This work includes programs in energy, forestry and enterprise development.

Prior to joining MACED’s staff in 2012, Peter served as director of the Brushy Fork Institute. His 22-year career with Brushy Fork included leading strategic planning processes, workshops, retreats, and conferences for local, regional and national organizations and contributing to the development of regional leadership and community development programs. He has also conducted community development projects internationally, in Russia and Slovakia.

A 1977 graduate of Swarthmore College, Peter’s background includes experience in grassroots environmental organizing and small business management. He lives with his wife in a passive solar home they designed and built in the midst of fifty acres of forest near Berea, Kentucky.


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