Leadership York's executive director retiring

David Weissman
  • Carolyn Warman, executive director of Leadership York, will retire after more than 16 years.
  • Wilda Alessi, current vice president of chamber operations for YCEA, will take over June 27.
  • Warman will be honored with alliance's 2016 Business Achievement Award on May 10.

The organization charged with training the future leaders of York County will itself get a new leader in June.

Carolyn Warman, executive director of Leadership York

Carolyn Warman, who has served as Leadership York's executive director for more than 16 years, will retire on June 27, at which time Wilda Alessi, currently vice president of chamber operations at the York County Economic Alliance, will take the role.

Warman, 59, said she feels lucky to be able to retire so young. She's looking forward to traveling and bird watching, she said, but she plans on continuing to live in the county.

Warman will be presented with the Economic Alliance's 2016 Business Achievement Award at a special dinner on May 10.

Leadership York's mission is "to train, connect and inspire individuals to serve the York community in leadership positions," according to its website.

Warman said the success of the organization has come from a culture emphasizing the board and staff working together.

"These are people I've been very fortunate to work with," she said. "They're so invested in the services that make this county tick."

Warman said the part of the job she'll miss the most is the people.

"We have a lot of fun," she said. "We take our work very seriously, but not ourselves. They care about something beyond themselves and enjoy working together."

Warman recalled starting at Leadership York when it was "behaving like a start-up" and working to create more effective databases and community partnerships.

"I was very fortunate to be hired at a time when I could come in and make a difference right away," she said. "We've come a long way."

Founded in 1978, Leadership York has 3,172 graduates from its six programs, and those graduates provide leadership to more than 250 nonprofit organizations.

Stepping up: One of those graduates is Alessi, who completed the leadership training program in 2009 and the Mentorship York program in 2015.

Wilda Alessi, future executive director of Leadership York

Alessi said she's looking forward to heading an organization impacting the York County community in a direct way.

She's worked for the Economic Alliance for more than 12 years and said she was fortunate to work so long for an organization she's passionate about.

"It's kind of bittersweet," Alessi said of moving on. "There's a lot of exciting things happening (with the alliance)."

Warman said Alessi was an enjoyable student while completing the Leadership York programs.

"She came to every session open to learning," Warman said. "She has a great love for the mission."

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.