Leadership Shawnee

Every year, the Chamber takes up-and-coming and new businesspeople and send them back to school. The classroom and the subject is the greater Shawnee area: its economy, resources and challenges. Upon graduation, the programs send a new batch of leaders - a diverse group of individuals with a renewed commitment - into their local community, and the skills, contacts and information to turn commitment into action.

Who Can Join Leadership Shawnee?

The program is open to all Chamber members, whether business owner or employee, nonprofit, or government officials.

Classes typically are made up of between 25 and 30 participants. Topics are designed to familiarize our participants with local organizations which include community development, economic development, tourism, media, city, state and tribal government, education, health and community services and heritage. Participants also complete a class project selected by the class.

"I wanted to write and express my sincere appreciation for the Chamber’s sponsorship of the Leadership Shawnee program. It has been wonderful and an opportunity that I will strongly encourage others to experience for themselves in the near future."

Beth Lyle, Pottawatomie County Literacy Program

Benefits of Leadership Shawnee

Leadership classes benefit the individuals who take them, their employers and the community as a whole. Graduates of Leadership Shawnee, now in its 32nd year, sit on committees and boards and have served in the elected positions of city commissioner, state legislator, mayor and governor.  

"In my role as the Dean of the OBU College of Business, I recently participated in Leadership Shawnee. Without a doubt, that was the best use of my professional development time and funds in my twenty years of participating in professional development opportunities." 

Dr. David Houghton, OBU College of Business

About the Leadership Shawnee Program

  • History: Program has been in continuous operation since 1984.
  • Purpose: To expose promising leaders to those issues that affect our communities, businesses and the public. With understanding of the needs and concerns in a wide variety of issues, these individuals will be better able to contribute their resources to making a difference in many ways.
  • Goals and Objectives: The program's goal is to prepare future community leaders for positions of responsibility by:
      • Acquainting them with significant community processes, programs and problems.
      • Teaching them about involvement opportunities, special challenges and demands using forums with current leaders.
      • Improving understanding of various economic, social and political forces impacting the community.
      • Providing a network of new community talent for service on public and private commissions, agencies, organizations and associations.
      • Educating and counseling leaders on skills necessary to become more objective.
      • Encouraging placement of graduates in key leadership positions in the community.
  • Qualifications:
      • A sincere concern about the future of our state and commitment to help shape its future.
      • A demonstrated capacity for leadership within the individual's own organization.
      • A willingness to commit the energy necessary to complete the program, including attendance at all sessions.
  • Participants: Employees of Greater Shawnee Chamber of Commerce members eager to grow and become more effective.
  • Tuition: $325.00 (usually paid by employer)
  • Sessions: The program requires attendance twice a month at two hour, evening sessions, starting in August and ending in February. Each meeting is held at a location appropriate to the topic of the session, so that participants gain a broader view of the community. Business, private and public organizations act as hosts for each program.
    Typical session topics are:
      • Leadership Retreat
      • Health & Human Services
      • Community Development
      • Education
      • Protecting our Community I - Criminal - Justice, Drug Court, Gang Task Force
      • Protecting our Community II - Fire & Police
      • Media
      • City Government
      • State and Tribal Government
      • Graduation
  • Attendance: Participants are expected to attend all sessions and participate in a Class Project. Only two absences will be permitted for emergency purposes. If candidates are unable to commit to the program schedule, it is not in their best interest to apply at this time.
  • Format: Each session is planned by a sub-committee of Alumni. The sessions provide participants with a sense of issues germane to the topic. Participants are introduced to the key leaders in each discipline, conducted through a series of discussions, lectures, group discussions and tours. In each session, dialogue is established among members of the class.  Finally, participants are asked for regular evaluations so that continuous refinements can be made in the program.
  • Organizational Structure: The Leadership Program is administered through the Greater Shawnee Chamber of Commerce. The Leadership Committee governs program structure and candidate selection.
  • Alumni: The Alumni provide the direction and support that provides the Leadership Program with a solid, lasting foundation. The Alumni also encourage periodic additional lectures and other updates to keep our graduates in touch with each other and up-to-date with the latest information.

Further Information: Contact the Staff Leader, Cindy Lantz, at [email protected]  or via phone at 273.6092.