Our Mission

Our mission is to develop sound economic development strategies that improve the quality of life in Duplin County and surrounding rural areas, that strengthen our communities for the present and future generations, and through our CDC programs, that educate, train, empower, and transform lives.

Our Approach

The Cornerstone CDC serves as a leader in the developing of programs  and services.  Our service delivery model, engages everyone, those in need of service and those willing to give what they can.  “Everyone makes a difference and everyone has something to offer”!

Our Story

The Cornerstone Community Development Corporation (CDC) began its operation in 2009 and received its 501c3 non-profit certification in May of 2010.  During the first two years of operation, our services centered on health and health disparities within Duplin County, NC.   Seeing the need, we expanded our services to include program services for veterans, seniors, and youth.  Our programs include:

  • Economic Development (Green Jobs)
  • Workforce and Job Training
  • Telecommunication and Technology
  • Computer Training
  • Housing and Community Development
  • Family and Youth Program Development
  • Health Disparities
  • Organizational Technical Assistance
  • Disaster Recovery

Our Team

Darlene Leysath

Founder & CEO

As President and CEO, Darlene has worked with leaders for nearly every county in North Carolina.  Prior to founding the Cornerstone, Darlene served as President  of Wellness Works Ministries and Consulting, Inc of Warsaw, North Carolina. In that role she provided mental and physical health services in Duplin County for over twenty-years. These services have been vital to the stability and health and wellness of thousands of families throughout Duplin County. This work has aided law enforcement, hospitals and churches in addressing crisis issues and tragic response debriefings.

Curtis M. Jones

Co Founder & COO

Curtis is a co-founder of the Cornerstone CDC and serves as COO and member of the board. A graduate Cambridge College, in 2001, Curtis holds a Masters Degree in Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University. He is an expert in Renewable Energy and international trade. He is the VP for Innovation and Development at Global Green Link Energy Africa, Nairobi Kenya. He  also serves as Managing Director at Copley Global, where he heads the technology division. An experienced trainer and instructor,  Curtis has taught a wide range of courses in the area of housing development, business, and organizational development. Curtis is a national expert in economic development and has worked with communities throughout the United States in planning and developing comprehensive strategies to meet their needs. His career track record includes work with the private and public sectors – on the local, state, national and international levels.

Our Volunteer Team

Kathy Nguyen

Administrative Assistant

My name is Kathy Nguyen, born on November 20, 2001,  throughout my life, I have realized that every struggle and complaint I had have given me experiences that will help me in the future. Becoming a translator and a representative a young age have continuously challenged my abilities to take charge of a situation, and I am grateful to help and protect my mom. One of my greatest passions is to get a proper education and certification to work in the medical field. I currently want to work in the area of pathology and is still on a long journey to get there.