For Chance Corbett, leadership equals service

For Chance Corbett, leadership equals service

At ten years old, Chance Corbett was introduced to a life in the world of public service. His father, the late Danny Corbett, had come home and made a big announcement.

“He decided he was going to run for Alabama State Senate,” Corbett said.  “I remember it well. He walked in the house with papers in his hand, saying he was going to run for something. I had no idea what it was,” Corbett said with a laugh.  

At the time, his dad worked for BellSouth which later transitioned to AT&T, and he served as vice president of the local union. Danny Corbett had called his state senator and made an inquiry about a specific matter. He felt as though the senator “basically blew him off.” In that moment, he decided to run for the position and began a full-blown grass roots campaign.  

“We did everything you can think of from raising money to having rallies on the back of a truck in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot, and in 1982, he won,” said Corbett. “He was for sure an underdog, and he served three terms, until 1994. I’ve been in the middle of politics from a young age, and probably at one point, I swore that I would never do it,” he said sarcastically.

Yet, Corbett now finds himself serving as Russell County Commissioner for District 6, a position he has held for nearly eight years.

“Servant leadership… I absolutely believe that’s my style,” he said. “I’m here to fix the issues people have and be their voice. It doesn’t matter if it’s a road issue, a trash issue, parks and recreation, or anything else. It’s about being a representative of the people.  It’s being their voice on a local level.”  

Corbett is one of three honorees being inducted into the Chattahoochee Valley Community College (CVCC) Foundation’s Hall of Fame in March. He is being recognized as Distinguished Alumnus. Corbett began taking classes at CVCC while working full time as a Russell County Sheriff’s Deputy soon after he graduated high school in 1991.

“CVCC played a major part in my higher education. I was a single, full-time working man. Not only was I working at the sheriff’s office, I was working part time at the ambulance service here. At CVCC, I saw an opportunity to get a degree and still be local. I also had some history here (at CVCC). My mom had attended the College and my dad had taken some classes as well. It was challenging because of my schedule. I might be on night shift one quarter and go back to working days. The great thing about it is everyone at CVCC worked well with me.”

In addition to serving as a county commissioner, Corbett serves as the Emergency Manager for Auburn University, a reserve sheriff’s deputy, a certified peace officer, a paramedic, and a volunteer firefighter. During Corbett’s tenure on the Russell County Commission, the town of Crawford has undergone a dramatic restoration. Under his leadership, the Historic 1848 Tuckabatchee Masonic Lodge was completely restored, the Crawford Walking Trail was created, and an old general store was renovated. 

“I think my favorite thing is when I get a challenge, I see it through,” he said.  “I feel that there is a solution for everything.  It may not be the solution I want, but there is a solution for every problem. I just love what I do, and I love this community. 

Corbett’s first love is his family. He and his wife, Jennifer, have been married for 19 years have two children; he enjoys spending time with them. He’s even started having conversations with his 14-year-old about the possibilities at CVCC.

“A lot of what I do is to make things better for them. I told my son the other day that I work every day because of him and his sister. As for college, I’ve talked to him about going to CVCC his first two years, and after that, he can decide where he can complete his education.”