Leadership Owensboro taking applications for next class

Leadership Owensboro, a professional development and community learning program, is taking applications for its 39th class.

Since 1982, more than 1,000 people have participated in the program.

“It is always exciting to anticipate the next class,” Jessica Kirk, executive director of Leadership Owensboro, said in an email. “We continue to work with dedicated faculty each year to enrich the experience for participants. The strength of having many people involved, ultimately adding to the tradition of the program, makes us proud.”

Leadership Owensboro is a program of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce.

Candance Castlen Brake, chamber president, said, “Leadership Owensboro is an integral component of our community’s succession plan. Talent drives economic growth.”

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 will be required to participate in local civic leadership meetings and will work as a class to present and implement a solution to an identified community challenge.

Kirk said the program will operate “within the parameters of the state’s Healthy at Work Guidelines and recommendations of the Center for Disease Control relating to COVID-19.”

People interested in becoming a member of this year’s class can learn more and download an application at chamber.owensboro.com/leadership-owensboro.

Applications are due on Aug. 14.

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.”

By Keith Larwrence Messenger-Inquirer