Leadership Lawrence

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Leadership Development Program

Leadership Lawrence, a program of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, is a professional development program that provides participants first-hand exposure to the inner workings of Lawrence and Douglas County. The only criteria is that participants must live or work in Lawrence or Douglas County.

Congrats to the Class of 2018! A big thank you to the 2018 Class Presenting Sponsors – CEK Insurance and Safeco Insurance!

Since 1982, the program has developed more than 850 leaders in the community. Leadership Lawrence alumni have a high-level of engagement with the organization and the community after graduation. Nearly 85 percent of Leadership Lawrence graduates who were polled in a recent survey about the program’s effectiveness reported that their community service had increased since graduating from the program. Additionally, nearly half of the respondents serve in an officer role or for a community organization, while more than 67 percent have worked on a political campaign.

“These results are a true testament to the effectiveness of the program to develop action-oriented leaders who have the knowledge, skills, capacities and connections to facilitate meaningful change in our community.”  – Sue Hack, Executive Director

Working with the community leaders and leadership trainers, class members learn leadership and facilitation skills that can be used to make Lawrence an event better community. 

The program begins with a two-day leadership skill building retreat in September, in which participants gain and practice skills as they learn more about specific topics of community interest. Nine additional one-day sessions prepare Leadership Lawrence participants to implement collaborative leadership skills in their businesses, boards and civic groups as well as their personal lives.

Who Can Participate
Participants in Leadership Lawrence are selected after consideration of the following qualities:

  • A commitment to develop and practice new leadership skills
  • A genuine interest and willingness to be involved in the community
  • Concern for the future of Lawrence and Douglas County
  • A record of community involvement
  • The ability to commit to all class sessions.

“Leadership Lawrence fosters self-improvement and the desire to serve others.  While these are admirable traits in our personal lives, they are crucial in the business world.  Your knowledge and drive is usually what differentiates you, and your company, from your competition.”  – Chad Luce, Manager of Customer & Community Relations, Westar Energy

In addition to class time, class members should anticipate time out of class for a youth project and various homework assignments to prepare for a particular session day.


Selection Process
The Leadership Lawrence class includes about 35 individuals living and/or working in the Lawrence/Douglas County area. Candidates may be nominated by an organization or may nominate themselves. A Selection Committee of Leadership Lawrence graduates selects men and women from a cross-section of the community, representing diversity in occupation, age, ethnicity, culture and perspectives.

LL Graduation

An applicant’s willingness to invest the time required for active participation in the program is a requirement of selection. Eligibility for graduation from Leadership Lawrence is contingent upon attendance at all sessions.

Please contact Sue Hack or call 785-865-4421 to learn more about Leadership Lawrence.

Alumni Directory


Leadership Lawrence Past Chairs

Leadership Awards

Leadership Lawrence Advisory Board
Chair: Tammy Bennett, City of Lawrence Public Works

Staff Contact: Sue Hack
Purpose: Provide strategic direction and sponsor development for Leadership Lawrence to increase civic engagement among the current class and alumni.

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