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 2019 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 is a joint effort between The Valpo Chamber and Purdue Extension, which 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, communication, ethics, accountability, and conflict management.

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

“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. The class was very informative and helpful and I enjoyed all of the sessions and learned something about myself and the leadership world in each class. I consider all of the participants friends and a great resource.” - Jodi Jackson, Event and Volunteer Coordinator, Valparaiso Family YMCA

“I’m grateful to live and work in a community that highly values leadership development. By intentionally investing in its leaders, Valpo is preparing for vibrant growth both for now and the future.” - Scott Staal, Northwest Indiana Multi-Area Director, Fellowship of Christian Athletes

“The Valpo Chamber Leadership Academy has allowed me to grow personally and professionally by developing valuable relationships, while learning key fundamentals on how to be successful; not only in business but in the community as well.” - Olivia Sanders, Marketing Coordinator, Metro Recycling

“The Valpo Chamber Leadership Academy taught me about our community, and the hard work needed to create networks to keep it successful for the future.” - Andrew Colvin, Sr. Financial Analyst, St. Mary Medical Center

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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