Welcome to Leadership Union County

Developing leaders with a vision for our local communities since 1999

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Our Mission

Leadership Union County will develop the leaders that help create a unified and progressive community. The program will help identify opportunities and challenges, develop strategies and provide resources to achieve community goals. Leadership Union County will help build community consensus and promote Union County.

Developing Leaders

LUC shares a vision for creating a unified and progressive community by developing leaders with a vision

Improving Our Communities

LUC identifies and develops strategies to overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities

Promoting Union County

LUC helps to build community consensus and provide resources to promote Union County

Why Leadership Union County?

Leadership Union County provides a development opportunity for individuals with the drive to become future leaders as well as growing current community leaders.

  • To single out those individuals who are motivated to become future leaders
  • To challenge those identified by educating them to the needs and opportunities facing their community
  • To create an opportunity for existing community leaders and those participating
  • To create an opportunity for existing community leaders in the region, an unusual chance to broaden their leadership potential
  • To enhance the skills of future community leaders in order that they might better serve their respectable communities

Developing Leaders

Years of Classes

Leadership Union County Goals

Develop Leaders

To develop leaders who are "visionaries", capable of articulating a clear and inspiring vision of Union County's future.

Create Networks

To create a network of local leaders who will work together to address common problems and achieve common solutions.

Expand Potential

To expand existing pools of leadership by drawing on the talents of people from all walks of life.

Focus Talents

To develop leaders who can focus the talents of their communities on creating innovative approaches to the challenges of the 21st Century.

Class Information

Leadership Union County holds 5 day-long classes beginning in April of each year with graduation in October.

Applications Accepted:

January 1 - March 31

Class Cost:

$175, due first day of class

Apply Today:

Apply Now

Board of Directors

It is the Board of Director's goal that upon completion, graduates of Leadership Union County will be better equipped to take their places as the driving force behind future decisions affecting us all.

Colleen Beeler

Board of Directors - President

I have served on the board of Leadership Union County since 2015 and became President in 2016. I also represented Union County on the Board of East Tennessee Regional Leadership (Leadership East Tennessee) for six years. I am a graduate from both programs. I have always loved being involved in education at all levels. I have served as President of Maynardville Elementary PTA and Horace Maynard Middle School PTO. I served as a School Board member on the Board of Education for Union County. Why I am involved with the Leadership Union County program... I am a life-long learner. I believe working together and sharing information is key to success in our community. I believe strong leaders can contribute to the quality of life in our community. Strong relationships and shared knowledge support growth and connection. Sharing just one idea or bit of information may be the catalyst for another group to get to the next level. We are all important and the knowledge we share will build a better Union County.

Wayne Toppins

Board of Directors

Attended Beaumont Elementary school (now Beaumont Magnet Academy) then Rule High school (now demolished, thanks Knoxville) graduating in 1960. Received a B.S. in Industrial Management from the University of Tennessee in 1966, followed by graduate school and working for The University of Tennessee Computing Center, beginning as a Computer Operator, then Special Projects Manager, next Systems Programmer, finally Systems Analyst as the department evolved with the changing technology ending up as the Office of Information Technology when I retired in 2010 after 45 years. Married in 1970. My wife, Marilyn & I have two boys. Helped establish the Luttrell Volunteer Fire Department in 1981/1982 and was an active firefighter since the department's inception in 1982 and later as a firefighter/medical First Responder when the department started running medical calls until I ceased actively running responses after about 35 years. Member of the LVFD Board of Directors and Board Secretary and Treasurer since the department's inception. Graduated Leadership Union County Class of 2017 and East Tennessee Regional Leadership Class of 2018. I joined the Leadership Union County Board in 2018 and served as President in 2022.

Pearl Coffey

Board of Directors - Treasurer

A lifetime resident of Union County, with a strong involvement in Education. I am a firm believer in community and leadership roles, serving and helping others in Union County, the East Tennessee Region, and in our great Volunteer State achieve goals that will benefit all people. Education: Graduate of Horace Maynard High School-1965 Lincoln Memorial University- Bachelor's; Masters; and Educational Specialist. Awards: Robert E. Gonia Leadership Award Interest: Graduate-Leadership Union County-2001, Graduate-East Tennessee Regional Leadership Association-2003, Member-Lincoln Memorial University Alumni Association, Member-Leadership Union County Board, Member-Leadership East Tennessee (ETRLA), Former Board Member-Tennessee Association Community Leadership, Former Board Member- Union County Chamber, Former Board Member-Union County Business and Professional Association, Former President and Member-Union County Optimist Club, Former Board Member-Public School Forum of East Tennessee, Former Board Member-Nine Counties One Vision, First Woman to be appointed to the Union County Election Commission 1983 and served thru 1997.

Dr. Tobi Kilgore

Board of Directors

Dr. Tobi Kilgore is currently the Executive Principal at Horace Maynard Middle School in the Union County Public Schools system and an Adjunct Professor in the Carter and Moyers School of Education at Lincoln Memorial University. He is in his 15th year working in public education and his second year as the Executive Principal at Horace Maynard. Dr. Kilgore completed his doctorate in education in 2018 at the University of the Cumberlands. Dr. Kilgore is married to Hollie Kilgore who is a counselor in the Union County Schools System. They have a 4 year old son, Nolan, and a 1 year old daughter Harper.

Rebecca Hughes

Board of Directors - Secretary

I have served on the board of Leadership Union County since 2012. I graduated from Leadership Union County and became the facilitator of the Youth Leadership Union County program. I also graduated from the East Tennessee Regional Leadership program. I have always had a passion for leadership from a young age when I completed my own youth leadership program. Being involved in the community, seeing all the growth among it and learning from both young and seasoned leaders has been my inspiration for maintaining my role in Leadership Union County.

Sheila Varner

Board of Directors

My leadership journey began in 2005 taking Grainger County Leadership. Then in 2007, I graduated from East Tennessee Regional Leadership. Working as Director of Grainger County Senior Citizens Center, the leadership classes gave me many opportunities to do my job with confidence. Networking with others in senior health services allowed me to apply the leadership skills I had acquired. Given my time to several boards including: Grainger County Tomato Festival, Grainger County Chamber of Commerce, and Senior Citizens Home Assistance Services (SCHAS). My husband & I moved to Union County in 2016. Hobbies include: RVing; classic car cruise-ins with my husband; taking scenic routes, while looking for unique scenes of barns & nature to add to my photographic collection; and driving the senior passenger van on scenic trips. I went through Leadership Union County in 2022 and have learned many interesting things about the county.

Candy Booker

Board of Directors

I'm the Union County Administrator of Elections. I am a lifelong resident of Union County, making my home in the Tater Valley community of Luttrell. I'm a 1995 graduate of Horace Maynard High School and a 1997 graduate of Knoxville Business College. I'm the daughter of the late Gail and Barbara Booker and am the youngest of their four daughters. I was raised on their dairy farm, helping with both dairy and beef cattle and working in tobacco and gardens. I'm a farm and home owner, building my house on part of my father's farm. I'm mother to a wonderful daughter, Lakin Swain Booker. Lakin is a freshman at the University of Tennessee; majoring in Food and Agriculture Business with a concentration in Agriculture Policy and a minor in Political Science. I'm also a dog-mom to Nikki, a 3 year old German Shepard. I'm an active member of Fairview Baptist Church in Tater Valley. I currently serve as the President of the Horace Maynard FFA Alumni and Supporters and Vice President of the Union County Records Management Committee. In my free time I enjoy doing home renovations, wood working, gardening, kayaking, cooking, spending time with family and working on the farm

Rebecca Lock

Board of Directors

Rebecca majored in Political Science at the University of Central Florida and earned her bachelor's degree in 1997. She worked for a state representative in Florida for three years until the birth of her first daughter. Treasuring motherhood, she stepped away from the political sphere and worked as a houseparent at a children's home for the next nine years. Currently teach history to middle school students at a small Christian school as she is passionate about passing the torch of liberty to the next generation of Americans. Rebecca recently re-entered politics and was elected as an Alderman for the City of Plainview in 2020 and was elected to the Union County School Board in 2022. Rebecca is a graduate of Leadership Union County and currently serves on their Board of Directors.


Feel free to email us at leadershipunioncountytn@gmail.com!