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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Leighanne Lankford



Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Founded: 1997

Industry: Learning & Development Contract Staffing

In January 2020, Leigh Anne Lankford became owner and president of specialized staffing firm TrainingPros after 13 years as a relationship manager at the company. Her more than 30 years of expertise in the learning and development industry have helped her direct the company to new heights in less than two years.

“In my 50s, I risked my entire life savings to purchase the company I had worked with for 13 years,” Lankford said. “I took the risk because I wanted a new challenge and I could see a bigger vision for the company.”

Founded in 1997, TrainingPros provides companies nationwide with contractors skilled in instructional design, training coordination, technical communications and more. Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 businesses such as The Home Depot, The Kraft Heinz Company and Newell Rubbermaid rely on TrainingPros. TrainingPros has a talent pool of 15,000, with more than 200 contractors serving clients worldwide at any given time.

Sales have increased by 30% to $23 million since Lankford moved into the president’s role. She began consulting for TrainingPros in 2003 and became a relationship manager in 2007. She was a top performer before being named Southeast regional leader of the agency’s relationship management team, where she coached team members and helped to increase the Southeast market share — with annual billing almost doubling from $8 million to $15 million.

Previously, Lankford founded her own consulting company and co-developed an e-learning tool that was later sold. She also worked for large organizations to fulfill their training needs, including ADP, the Federal Reserve System and GE.

She has a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of West Georgia and a master’s degree in human resource development from Georgia State University.

In five years, TrainingPros aims to reach the $30 million mark in sales and expand into 10 or more major markets. “We will continue to be a 100% virtual company with flexible work schedules for our employees (the staffing firm has been virtual since its inception in 1997),” the company said. “TrainingPros will still be a carbon-neutral company and plans to have facilitated the planting of over 10,000 trees (through One Tree Planted). Each tree represents one tree planted per consultant placed in an assignment with a client.”

Lankford has been honored with the Georgia State University award for Distinguished Contribution to the Application of HRD in the Workplace and three Bronze Telly Awards for training video design.

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Did you know?

Leighanne has believed in living life to its fullest. She enjoys travel and adventure. Recent adventures include walking on fire  and rappelling down an 11-story building ;


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