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Leadership Springfield

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Strengthening Our Community One Leader at a Time

What is Leadership Springfield?

Leadership Springfield (LS) is the premier leadership training program in the Capitol City.  Leadership Springfield is a 14 week series of half day programs during which participants gain leadership skills and in-depth exposure to critical issues affecting the Springfield area.  During the program, participants interact with community leaders and decision makers who share diverse perspectives on significant accomplishments and opportunities within the Springfield community.  Interactive professional development is a cornerstone of Leadership Springfield.

Why Leadership Springfield?

Leadership Springfield is a program that aims to develop, strengthen and equip local professionals to benefit the Springfield area.  The curriculum represents a number of different facets of life and commerce in Springfield.  Topics for the Leadership Springfield program typically include:

  • Leadership Development
  • Agriculture
  • Cultural Intelligence
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Homeland Security
  • Local & State Government
  • Team Building
  • Tourism
  • Technology & Innovation


Below are testimonials from the last Leadership Springfield class.

The experiences provided by the Chamber's Leadership Springfield program has helped me to further develop skills necessary to lead in all facets of life.  Over the course of the program I was able to develop relationships that will last for years to come.  The access that the Leadership Springfield program provides to local business leaders is invaluable.  Across all sessions the passion and pride on display for the Springfield community was energizing!  This an excellent program for anyone looking to grow as a leader and invest in the local community.

- Matthew Overbey ’20, Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc.

The opportunity to participate in Leadership Springfield was valuable, on many levels.  Our class gained insight into industries and organizations that move this community forward, as well as the individuals who lead them. Additionally, we were afforded Q&A sessions with men and women who continually strive to be worthy of the trust and influence their roles command.

Without discernment and diligence, "leadership" easily becomes another buzzword. The array of leaders who addressed our class consistently highlighted the practices that set them apart. Three primary attributes resonated from our speakers; humility, curiosity and tenacity. Every leader shared stories of struggles and strengths, transparently. The value of those insights is immeasurable.

My classmates and I have not fully realized the benefits of this program, though we all share a deep sense of gratitude for the privilege. The investment seeded in each of us through Leadership Springfield will bear fruit in this community for years to come.

-Joey Morris ’20, City of Springfield, Office of Planning & Economic Development

I have lived in Springfield for over a decade. In this time I thought I had learned what Springfield has to offer, but Leadership Springfield showed me that the area offers so much more than I was aware of prior to the program. We have world class companies and opportunities here in our backyard. Truly a terrific, eye-opening, program.

-Craig McFarland ’20, University of Illinois Springfield

Leadership Springfield exceeded my expectations. Meeting with and hearing the thoughts/advice of some of the best business leaders in Springfield was incredibly valuable to me through the CEO panel discussions. I also enjoyed and benefited from the specific leadership training from which I learned (among other things) that influencing people is not a choice. We influence those around us all of the time. We do choose, however, whether we influence people in a positive or negative way. CHOOSE POSITIVE! Finally, it was great to interact on a consistent basis and build relationships with my fellow Leadership Springfield participants.

-William Lunt ’20, RSM US LLP

Leadership Springfield had a huge impact on me, not only as a professional, but in every aspect of my life. It was a tremendous honor to be a part of Leadership Springfield and I wish nothing but the best to my fellow class mates and future professionals who have the opportunity to participate in it.

-Brett Jackson ’20, Bank of Springfield

Being in a new management roll, Leadership Springfield was a valuable experience in many aspects.  It provided me with insight into many different leadership styles and helped in guiding me to form my own leadership style.  I gained a wealth of knowledge in many areas from agriculture to state government.  The networking and professional connections I made will benefit me for years to come.

-Melisa Galloway ’20, Inn at 835

The Leadership Springfield program offered an extraordinary perspective on the community I've called home for several years. In each of our 14 sessions, we were told remarkable stories of influence and provided invaluable lessons in leadership. I was left with an even greater appreciation for what our city has going for it, and where it strives to go.

-Adam Perschbacher ’20, Hanson Professional Services Inc.

The opportunity to interact with experienced leaders and thinkers from the Springfield community holds immense value, and Leadership Springfield provides those opportunities in spades. Sessions like the CEO Panel allowed me to pose big, daunting topics directly to the experts, and their brain trust responded with rare and insightful advice.

-Connor Lohse ’20, BUNN

What an amazing opportunity to learn more about Springfield and the leaders and businesses that call Springfield home!  It's amazing to be a part of such a great community!  I highly recommend Leadership Springfield to anyone who wants to help grow their business, create life long networking relationships, or wants to challenge themselves personally!  Thank you again!!!

-Fred Weber ’20, Flat Branch Home Loans

How do employers benefit from sponsoring an applicant?

In general, employers of all kinds benefit from the employee’s improved leadership, and team and problem-solving skills.  Through their employee’s involvement, employers gain access to a broad network of prestigious leadership contacts across all sectors, and extensive knowledge of the issues facing the community.  The consensus is their employees learn the “who’s who” of the community and the value of the power of individual influence around regional change.

History of Leadership Springfield

Established in 1986 by The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the Junior League of Springfield, Leadership Springfield has nearly 1,000 graduates since its inception.

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