Southwest Michigan First believes that at our community’s core, the ultimate catalyst for growth is the ability to identify, engage and empower the right people. We must take a bold approach to develop the human capital required for a sustainable future. According to John Maxwell, “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” Since 1987, Leadership Kalamazoo has been the community leadership development resource for the Kalamazoo Region, providing a unique opportunity for a diverse group of current and emerging community leaders to learn and work together.
Leadership Kalamazoo is an intensive program that gathers participants through interactive training sessions, shared experiences, community tours and networking opportunities from January through October 2023.
We bring together experienced professionals, a world-class faculty and a dynamic curriculum in a setting where the common denominator is a shared commitment to accelerating leadership and impact. The result is a lasting transformational leadership experience. Each session of the program is focused on a different leadership development competency. Some examples of topics that will be examined are:
- Strengths-Based Leadership
- Wellbeing in the Workplace
- Leading High-Performance Teams
- Exploring Inclusion in the Workplace
- Navigating Adaptive Change
Community experiences and tours focus on exploring community assets and challenges within economic development, local government, health care, education, and public safety. Also included in the program is the opportunity to complete Gallup’s CliftonStrengths assessment and a ticket to attend Southwest Michigan First’s Catalyst University. A calendar and program details are available in our Playbook, accessible below.
Who Should Apply
Established and emerging leaders who have a strong desire to accelerate their capacity as leaders in Southwest Michigan are strongly encouraged to apply. You might consider applying if the following qualities describe you:
- Personal commitment to ongoing self-discovery and professional development
- Demonstrated active engagement in your organization and/or community
- Commitment to shaping a positive future for Kalamazoo County and our surrounding region
- Desire to engage and learn alongside cross-sector leaders with different perspectives
- Motivated to meet new people, build your network and make new connections
Attendance at all sessions is expected and mandatory.
Our Commitment to Diversity + Inclusion
We believe that there are many “right ways” to be an influential leader. The language and action of leadership can look very different depending on industry, geographic location, gender, race, worldview, political affiliation, and other cultural identifiers. We believe there is room at the table for different perspectives, styles and voices. It is our goal to gather a diverse group of leaders to have access to world-class training, who are empowered to lead effectively in a way that is authentic to them, and who are connected to a meaningful opportunity to practice their leadership in our community.
The cost to participate in Leadership Kalamazoo is $2,400. Chamber members receive a discounted rate of $2,150. This fee covers all program costs including meals, materials, resources associated with the retreats and community tours, CliftonStrengths assessment and a ticket to Catalyst University.
Tuition assistance is available on a limited basis for those who have a financial need. Please indicate in your application if you will need tuition assistance, and a team member will follow up on next steps.
The application for the Leadership Kalamazoo Class of 2023 is now closed. If you’re interested in joining a future class of Leadership Kalamazoo, please fill out the form below.
Want to talk? To learn all about Leadership Kalamazoo, get in touch with Gretchen Slenk at 269.553.9588.
Southwest Michigan First is proud to bring you Leadership Kalamazoo in partnership with our presenting sponsor, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.