Leadership Academy

Leadership Academy is a four-month community leadership program that prepares, challenges, and engages emerging and existing leaders to strengthen the community. Participants are exposed to the larger community, exploring the public/city government sector, private business sectors, and not-for-profit organizations that play a role in building a strong community.

Interested in attending the 2017 Valpo Chamber Leadership Academy?

Download an application here!


The Valpo Chamber Leadership Academy provides a growing leadership pool of willing and able leaders for current and future civic, charitable, and governmental organizations in Valparaiso.


The Valpo Chamber Leadership Academy encourages individuals to be trustees of their community — to work for the common good — and to become a leader for the entire community. The program uniquely focuses on connection and engagement in community service - specifically, leadership roles.

The Valpo Chamber Leadership Academy complements other leadership organizations with a focus on the skills and knowledge necessary to be an effective leader in the community; for example, expectations of board service, governance, understanding financial statements, fundraising, ethics, accountability, and time management.

At the end of the Academy program, participants are expected to become continually, substantively, and actively engaged within community organizations in leadership roles.

The Leadership Academy was an outstanding experience.  It provided a great venue to network and learn how to come together as a team to meet the needs of our community.  It also provided a means to learn more about Valparaiso and how our community works together to meet its needs.  The Leadership Academy’s partnership with the Purdue University Extension brought together a team of experts who each had unique gifts and experiences to share to help us as participants grow in our own leadership journeys.  Each session had a targeted theme that enabled us to see outside of our own experiential lenses and grow to become a future leader in our community.  I would recommend the Leadership Academy to anyone who wants to become an integral part of our community as well as develop and expand their leadership skills. – Anna Corkill, 2016 Leadership Academy Graduate from  Lake City Bank

"I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect when I signed up for and was accepted to the 2016 Leadership Academy.   But after only a couple of meetings with great speakers and a diverse group of fellow participants, I knew my decision to participate was the correct one.

Sponsors and guest speakers were generous with time and resources and understood the benefits of supporting leadership in the community.    Whether it be assisting a local non-profit through board involvement or volunteering, or simply getting involved in community events, the Leadership Academy opens doors for participants to choose their own path. 

The staff heading up the Academy were key to the program and were involved throughout the entire process.  They offered different points of views and tools for participants to seek out their passion and how they might be a leader going forward.

I would recommend the Leadership Academy to anyone interested in learning not only about services/organizations/opportunities in their community, but about themselves.  There’s a leader in all of us and the Academy helps find that leader." - Matt Workman, 2016 Leadership Academy Graduate from Meridian Title Corp.

Benefits of Leadership Academy

Whether you are new to that area or not, Leadership Academy participants will build a better understanding of the nature of community leadership and open new doors to opportunities within our community.


  • Develop valuable contacts and communication networks within the community
  • Discover Valparaiso in a new way through panel discussions and conversations with local leaders
  • Gain awareness of critical issues facing the community today and into the future


  • Develop individual and organizational problem-solving skills
  • Discover leadership development networks, collaborations, and valuable community resources
  • Build confidence and motivation to become actively involved in the community


  • Connect with current community leaders/mentors who share their experiences of community leadership
  • Build peer networks
  • Become continually, substantively, and actively engaged within community organizations in leadership roles

Interested in sponsoring the Leadership Academy?

Call Kurt Gillins for details: (219) 462-1105


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