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 2020 Valpo Chamber Leadership Academy?



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.

"Not only did I learn more about myself and grow my personal leadership skill set, but I also had the opportunity to meet and build relationships with many other business professionals in the community.   The learning, growth, and opportunities continue even after the classroom sessions conclude as new doors open up." Heather Dull – NITCO

"I gained a better understanding of myself personally and professionally while making connections that will last throughout my career. Attending each session at a different organization in the community really helped us learn about the businesses in our own backyard. I developed an interest in board leadership, economic development, as well as the inner workings of our city and county government. I’m looking forward to continuing to expand my involvement within our community." Kara Moon – General Insurance Services

"This program has been a remarkable opportunity for me to learn more about my community, my leadership style and fully realize where my passions lie.  I have made incredible contacts with people from all different corners of the community, industry classes and backgrounds.  This was one of truly the best training courses I’ve ever taken."  Karin DeVries – Horizon Bank

"My experience with the leadership has proved valuable to my organization, my clients and to myself on a personal level.  Our cohort formed professional relationships that have evolved into friendships." John Schlatter – Center of Workforce Innovations

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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