At Coal Creative, our team is always looking for new ways to expand our horizons and learn new skill sets. That’s why we are so excited to share with you that five of our team members have been participating in Leadership Wilkes-Barre’s Advanced Leadership Development Certificate Program!

The 10-week virtual program is Leadership Wilkes-Barre’s effort to get the community involved in serving, strengthening, and improving our region of Northeastern Pennsylvania through leadership training, community projects, and networking with alumni. Coal Creative first connected with Leadership Wilkes-Barre when our owner and founder Gerard Durling graduated from their Core Leadership Program in 2015. Following Gerard, our current CEO Holly graduated as a member of the class of 2018, and our Creative Director Sam is a recent graduate of the class of 2020.

“After graduating from the core class (class of 2020, best class ever), I jumped at the opportunity to further develop my leadership experience,” says Sam. “The interactive videos and assignments have been eye opening, to say the least.”

Five Coal Creative team members are currently enrolled in the virtual program: Holly and Sam, as well as Jeremy (Project Manager), Samantha (Content Manager & Design Specialist), and Camaryn (Relationship Manager). “The Leadership Wilkes-Barre class has forced me to self-reflect on my leadership skills in a way I never have before,” Camaryn says. “Through watching the lectures and videos, completing the homework and attending the Zoom classes, I have already been able to see where I can improve on my leadership skills.” Jeremy, who is an entirely remote employee at Coal Creative, has also been enjoying the course, noting “I appreciate the depth of experience the course offers, and always enjoy honing and reflecting on my leadership skills.”

While the team is only about halfway through the program, Camaryn says it has already made a huge impact on not only her professional life, but the way she moves through the world as well, saying “The class has given me a huge boost in my confidence. It not only allows you to see where you can make improvements, but also points out where you are excelling.” Samantha also shares the same sentiment, saying “Taking the Leadership Wilkes-Barre class has truly changed the way I work. So far, it has shown me how I can become not only a better leader, but also a better team player.”

If the Advanced Leadership Development Certificate Program has taught our team anything, it’s that professional development doesn’t just end at the end of the workday. In addition to the important tools the course has given us so far, Holly sees this as a chance to bond with the Coal team and participate in something outside of our day-to-day duties. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to share this experience with a handful of my fellow team members, on a personal and professional level,” Holly says. “It was so encouraging when I put the call out internally to have four individuals step up open-minded and ready to explore their leadership abilities and capabilities through an opportunity provided by an organization that I hold so near and dear to my heart. We’re only a few weeks in and I can clearly see the benefits of this program will last far beyond the 10-week program for us all.”

To learn more about Leadership Wilkes-Barre and any upcoming courses, visit

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