Brushy Fork Annual Institute

Succession Planning: Sustaining Leadership and Resilience through Transition

Early Bird Session Leader: David Cooke

Non-profit organizations often operate in a fluid and challenging context, and over time, they either evolve, dissolve, or get absorbed. Change is the constant, and resilient organizations strive for smooth and effective leadership transitions. Too often, however, leadership roles are transitioned without sufficient thought, planning, or time.

This session will provide insight and methods for effectively handling leadership transitions and being intentional about building the development of the next generation of leaders early into the fabric and culture of the organization.


David Cooke, a native of Southern West Virginia, is director of the Berea College Appalachian Fund and the food security program Grow Appalachia. He holds degrees from Berea College and West Virginia University. Prior to coming to Berea, David worked 13 years as an extension agent in Boone, Lincoln, Logan and Kanawha Counties in West Virginia.

With 22 years of experience in leadership development work, David has facilitated work with teams in seven counties for Brushy Fork Institute’s Leadership Development Program. In addition, he has also facilitated the Personal Leadership Development track for many years at the Annual Institute.

Berea College Logo


Copyright © 2014 Berea College