Leadership Owensboro taking applications for 2020

Leadership Owensboro, a local professional development and community learning program that dates back to 1982, is taking applications for its Class of 2020

“We have seen a major increase in applications over the past three years,” Candance Castlen Brake, president of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, said recently. “But we are committed to keeping the number (in the class) at 30, so the class can have a richer experience.”

More than 1,000 people have completed the program in the past 37 years.

The program offers nine full-day sessions on topics such as education, human needs and services, local government issues, the justice system, tourism, health care and other aspects of the community.

The monthly classes are held from September through April.

Class members are also required to participate in local civic leadership meetings and work together as a class to present and implement a solution to an identified community challenge.

Jessica Kirk, executive director of Leadership Owensboro, said in a news release that the staff continues to work “with dedicated faculty to enrich the program each year, ultimately strengthening the tradition of the program that so many people in the Owensboro community are extremely proud of.”

In 2009, the chamber and the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp. announced that they were replacing Leadership Owensboro with a new leadership training program called Emerge Owensboro.

They were repackaging the program for “a new generation,” they said at the time.

But in 2015, the two organizations announced that they were bringing back the Leadership Owensboro brand.

“It’s a proven brand,” Brake said at the time. “It’s recognizable throughout the state and the nation. It’s like Leadership Kentucky. When people asked what Emerge Owensboro was, we had to tell them it was like Leadership Kentucky. We saw the need to change.”

To learn more about Leadership Owensboro and download an application, go to chamber.owensboro.com/leadership-owensboro.

The deadline to apply is July 31.

Those selected will be introduced at the chamber’s Sept. 5 Rooster Booster Breakfast at the Owensboro Convention Center.