JCC’s Wells Receives Athena Leadership Award

Published: November 8, 2018

Award recognizes professional excellence and leadership skills.

 Dr. Twyla Wells, executive director of the JCC Foundation, is the 2018 Athena Leadership Award winner. Dr. Twyla Casey Wells, executive director of the Johnston Community College Foundation, is the 2018 Athena International Leadership Award recipient presented by the Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber Women’s Business Network (CWBN).

The Athena Leadership Award is given to an individual who is honored for professional excellence, community service, and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

One of 11 women leaders in Johnston County nominated for the award, Wells has served as executive director of the JCC Foundation for 10 years.

JCC Foundation’s current assets total nearly $9 million. Wells developed the Back to Class initiative, which has contributed nearly $119,000 in scholarship support and translated $750,000 back to the college in state funding.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in music from the North Carolina School of the Arts and her master’s and doctorate degrees from N.C. State University. She currently serves on the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and with the Leadership Johnston program. She will chair the chamber’s CWBN Committee in 2019.

In addition to her impact locally, Wells founded a statewide group serving community college Foundation leaders.

“Twyla is a thought leader, a true problem solver who can tackle any obstacles put in her path,” said Dr. David Johnson, JCC president. “She is family-oriented, not just her own family, but the JCC family as well. She is totally committed to the college and the Foundation in their purpose of developing and leading others and creating opportunities for others.”

Wells said she was humbled and grateful to be included with the other nominees and said the recognition reflected a team effort by her team in the Foundation and colleagues at JCC.

“When you have authentic, caring relationships with people that is what leads all of us collectively to doing great things together,” Wells said. “We all are trying our hardest to make a great impact in our community, and I hope we can continue to forge those relationships across our organizations, across our political parties, and across our personal connections to each other to continue to do great things for Johnston County.”

Other 2018 nominees were the late Evelyn Aranda; Michelle Ball; Cindy Brookshire; Joy Callahan; Shanna Capps; Meredith Fordham; Barbara King; Marilyn Pearson; N.C. Rep. Donna White; and Dana Wooten.

Wells lives in Princeton with her 16-year-old son, John.

Cut line: Dr. Twyla Wells, executive director of the JCC Foundation, is the 2018 Athena Leadership Award winner. She is pictured with Dr. David Johnson, JCC president; Dr. Darryl McGraw, vice president of administrative, financial, and information technology services at JCC; and Hank Daniels, vice chair of the JCC Board of Trustees.

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