Fountain said Thursday she is looking forward to the festivities, and the opportunity to be retired for now.
She does not plan to stay retired.
“I am contemplating my next adventure,” she said. “I have a lot of passions, for education, sustainability and leadership. I am not sure what I will do next.”
Fountain came to Leadership DeKalb in November 2001 and stayed 10 years and 10 months.
She said she accomplished most of her goals with the nonprofit, which educates community leaders, including county officials and corporate managers, on the challenges facing the county and trains them in building ties and working to make DeKalb a better place.
“If you have people who understand the challenges, hopefully it helps us become a better county,” she said.
During her tenure, more than 800 leaders, including Lee May and Sharon Barnes Sutton, who went on to become county commissioners, graduated from the program. The largest class of 55 also went through the program on her watch, and Youth Leadership DeKalb blossomed with support of alumni, and grew in size and content.
Fountain, a 1992 graduate of Leadership DeKalb and a 2004 graduate of the Regional Leadership Institute, also worked to give Leadership DeKalb more regional focus.
“Our issues are not just DeKalb’s,” she said. “They are regional issues because we are part of a region.”
Program participants are also now required to develop and execute a project that will make the county better.
Fountain’s one regret is that she leaving before she had instituted an annual fund-raising campaign to sustain the organization.
“The economy has been tough,” Fountain said. “That’s why I wanted a sustaining fund-raising campaign.”
The Nov. 7 event takes place 6 to 10 p.m. in the botanical garden’s Day Hall.
Graduates, current class members, friends and supporters will chow down on Low country barbecue, and network. The organization will also vote in its new board of directors and officers, recognize the 2012 Leadership Award recipients, and announce the winner of the Best Class Ever Award.
Carolyn Moise, a 2001 Leadership DeKalb graduate and former board member is serving as interim director while the board searches for a new executive director.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is at 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E. For more information and registration, visit www.leadershipdekalb.org or call 404-373-2491.