Carol Bruser is the director of Leadership Shelby County. (Contributed)
Carol Bruser is the director of Leadership Shelby County. (Contributed)

Archived Story

Leaders follow Carol Bruser’s lead

Published 2:55pm Monday, March 4, 2013

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

Carol Bruser is followed by many leaders.

For nine months, their schedules depend on her schedule and their time on her time. She is the executive director of Leadership Shelby County. No one in our county probably observes more leadership on a regular basis than she does.

A graduate of the 2001 class, Bruser was asked to be the director in 2006 when long-time director Ellen Corbett retired. Since that time she has organized every aspect of the 18-year-old program.

Leadership Shelby County is a nine-month program to assist and develop leaders, show them all the nooks and crannies of Shelby County including its rich history, recreational facilities, business and non-profit sectors and parts of its government. It could be considered Shelby County 101 for leaders. It provides them fertile soil to grow as leaders and to a multitude of opportunities for them to become more involved in our community.

Bruser has overseen eight adult leadership classes and 12 youth leadership classes. She describes leadership as “the ability to envision and execute positive change.” She says the common threads and traits she sees throughout the classes of leaders are a positive attitude, strong work ethic, critical thinking and civic commitment, all which end with positive engagement in their community.

Bruser doesn’t rely on famous people for her inspiration, but says she draws inspiration from family members, friends and many times complete strangers who with their actions make a difference in other people’s lives.

“Shelby County is blessed with many great leaders! We have an abundance of concerned citizens that pull together to work on challenges throughout the county,” Bruser said.

Leadership Shelby County provides a great opportunity for individuals to learn more about the county they live in and not just the community from which they reside.

Those interested in Leadership Shelby County can contact Bruser at This year’s program application deadline in July 12.

Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident. You can reach her at

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