By: Rachel Pillow
Leadership Gwinnett is a nonprofit, member-oriented organization designed to build and sustain a community of effective leaders that address current and future challenges and opportunities in Gwinnett County. As stated on their website, their mission is: “To educate, equip and engage existing and emerging leaders through a diversity of people, thoughts and experiences that lead Gwinnett to a better future.”
In 1984, as Gwinnett County was transforming from a sleepy, agricultural town into a diverse, densely populated, urban metro Atlanta neighborhood, a group of existing leaders recognized the need to equip this new community with future civic, political and business leaders. Funded by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and led by Gwinnett Chamber CEO, John F. “Jack” Sawyer, this group of existing leaders banded together to form Leadership Gwinnett with the goal of raising new leaders dedicated to making Gwinnett county a world-class community.
Since the inaugural Leadership Gwinnett Class of 1986, the program has grown to become one of the most respected leadership programs in the United States. With over 1,000 diverse alumni, it has connected leaders across all industries, career stages and backgrounds, all with the same goal and commitment to positively impact their community.
Leadership Gwinnett offers two opportunities that educate, equip and engage future leaders in Gwinnett. Along with an immersive 9-month program, Leadership Gwinnett also offers a 2.5 day “snapshot” program called Glance Gwinnett, designed to give citizens the opportunity to participate in a behind-the-scenes tour of Gwinnett County and a hands-on, interactive learning experience with other local leaders.
A true leader is always striving to become better while helping everything and everyone around them to become better too. Both programs are designed to raise more leaders in our community. In the following section, we outline some of the basic highlights of each program so you can decide which journey suits your needs.
Deciding Which Program is Right For You:
Leadership Gwinnett is an in-depth, immersive 9-month educational experience in which participants learn more about the key issues relating to Gwinnett and the region, including: infrastructure, economics, education, health & human services, justice, regional relations and more.
Who is it for? Experienced leaders who want to significantly increase their impact on their organization and their community, including senior executives, presidents, business owners, executive directors, etc.
Time commitment: The program kicks off with a 2.5 day off-site retreat followed by one program day and study group sessions each month and ends with a 1.5 day off-site closing retreat. There are also assignments between the monthly program days that include visiting off-site locations, reading assignments or group activities.
Benefits of the program:
■ The opportunity to build relationships with a group of 40 other
like-minded leaders, as well as over 1,000 alumni from past
Leadership Gwinnett classes.
■ Gain a broader and deeper perspective on Gwinnett county and your role in the community.
■ Discover local issues you are passionate about and gain firsthand insight on how to directly tackle them.
Program Cost: Tuition is $3000. Limited scholarships are available upon written request via an application from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glance Gwinnett offers a sneak peek preview of what the 9-month Leadership Gwinnett Program looks like. It is a 2.5 day program with a class of 30-35 other participants, where you are given the opportunity to tour a segment of the county and examine its history, current standing and possibilities.
Who is it for? Anybody in Gwinnett who is looking to learn more about this vibrant community and how to take a more active role as a citizen, while expanding their personal and professional networks. Participants range from young professionals to business owners, nonprofit directors, managers and retirees.
Time commitment: Upcoming program dates are September 21-23rd and November 2-4th. The first two days are from 8am – 5pm, the third day is from 8am – noon.
Benefits of the program:
■ The opportunity to build relationships with a group of other like-minded citizens and local leaders.
■ Gain insight on local issues and opportunities where you can serve within the community.
■ A personal, informational way to learn about all that Gwinnett has to offer.
Program Cost: $600
For more information or to apply for other program, visit leadershipgwinnett.com