Jes Averhart

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Jes Professional Jes Averhart

Executive Director of Leadership Triangle

By: Kim Blair



A Leader of Leaders

Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with a dear friend and someone I respect greatly, Jes Averhart.   At the end of 2016, Jes became the Executive Director of Leadership Triangle.  Established in 1992, Leadership Triangle is a non-profit organization, created to educate, activate, and create leadership capacity in the Triangle.  Specifically, to develop people who are inspired, thoughtful, and empowered to create change throughout the Triangle.

Jes hasn’t reached her one year mark and is already making a difference for the program, its alumni, and future participants.   With approval from the Board of Directors, Jes repositioned Leadership Triangle’s approach.  Instead of a focus on the programs, as many leadership development programs do, Jes is moving the Alumni to the forefront.  Like other consumer product companies, she is putting the product first.  The product of Leadership Triangle is the people who are making a difference in our area.  They are leading companies, serving on nonprofit boards, being recognized in the Triangle Business Journal, or quietly improving the region in a relevant and lasting way.  The programs are the mechanisms to create these inspired and inspiring leaders.

What’s next?

On December 5, Leadership Triangle will host the first THRIVE Leadership Summit.  The summit is a Jes casualplatform where anyone in the region can join a community of people who believe in the concepts of values, ethics, and leadership.  This event is open to the public at a reasonable price – this inclusive approach will reach more emerging leaders and nonprofit leaders who may not be exposed to this type of learning and teachings otherwise.  Further, community leaders need to understand the opportunities and challenges in our region. Experts on the topics of values, ethics, leadership, and regional issues will share their knowledge and experience with the participants.  I am blown away by the number of amazing speakers and thought provoking topics being planned.  This event is not to be missed!

Always the Student

I love to learn and grow.  For me, growth comes from self-exploration and challenge.  About four years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in Leadership Triangle’s Transforming Leaders Program.   The multi-month program was full of content and exercises that challenged me to think differently about leadership, identify what I valued in great leaders, and define my personal leadership philosophy.  The sessions were led by expert instructors with real-life experiences and practical tools.  The caliber of the instructors and guest presenters was exceptional.  One example is Col. Joe LeBoeuf (retired), who has held numerous leadership and management positions while serving in the US Army and is currently a professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.  We also were lucky to have Dr. Jose Picart, Professor of Education and Senior Faculty Fellow at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, share his wisdom and passion for growth with the group.  Other guest presenters included business executives, nonprofit leaders, civic leaders, and even an astronaut.

I met amazing people through the journey who encouraged me to become the best leader I could be and to never stop learning and improving in that space.

The Unveiling

Leadership Triangle has been around for 25 years.  Jes is proud to be part of an organization that has been developing leaders for a quarter of a century, yet is still fresh and relevant today.  In the spirit of continued improvement and growth, Leadership Triangle will unveil a fresh new brand identity at the THRIVE Gala the evening of December 5.  This new look symbolizes strength, longevity and continued growth.

More about Jes

Where do you live? Downtown Durham, in a loft at the American Tobacco Campus

What do you love about the space?  The 10’ windows that look out at her neighbors – the interesting and diverse buildings of downtown Durham.

What do you love about the area?  Living in an urban environment – you can feel the vibrancy of the city at all hours.  Where she lives mirrors who she is – Downtown Durham is vibrant, rarely sleeps and is an outgoing introvert that feeds off the energy of others.


Join me at the THRIVE Leadership Summit –

Learn more about Leadership Triangle programs and events –

jes and kim


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