The Hamilton County Leadership Academy encourages residents to “learn, connect, and lead” with a program designed to enhance leadership skills within the county.
“Every adult interested in giving back to the community in some way should go through the program,” executive director Jill Doyle said. “It provides a great base of knowledge about the community, how it operates and the needs in Hamilton County.”
A 15-person board of directors chooses candidates with business or civic interests and a commitment to community service. Doyle explained candidates are chosen “who represent all areas of the county, a variety of professions and a good balance in gender and age.” She urged past applicants who weren’t previously selected to apply again this year.
An August retreat launches the program for selected candidates. Community leaders provide monthly presentations on topics ranging from local government to public relations and city planning. Some events include social gatherings, breakfast or lunch. The year-long program concludes with a closing retreat and graduation ceremony.
Joanne Hogle, program advisor for community assistance, graduated from the program in 2012.
“The Hamilton County Leadership Academy is by far one of the best programs I have been involved with,” Hogle said. “To learn about our county and state and meet and hear some of our top-serving leaders was an eye opener.”
Richard F. Taylor III, a 2009 graduate and assistant vice president at The National Bank of Indianapolis, pointed out the program’s networking value.
“The (program) groomed me for various volunteer leadership roles. The experience is invaluable and the classmates you meet become life-long community contacts,” Taylor said. “These relationships transcend city and town borders, broadening your professional network.”
Doyle also highlighted the program’s networking qualities.
“Participants have access to over 100 leaders in our county who speak to the class throughout the program as well as to our over 500 alumni,” she said.
Applications must be submitted by June 30. The $1,500 tuition fee may be paid by an employer/sponsor, individual or nonprofit organization. Tuition assistance is limited. Applicants can visit www.hcla.net to view the program schedule and print an application.