Leadership Premier

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The Goal: Leaders Ready to Serve

Leadership Howard County presents an unequaled opportunity for leaders to see beyond their own work or personal environments to the broader interests of the community.  Through interactions with decision-makers and industry experts, they develop a working knowledge of our community across sectors and learn to appreciate the diverse perspectives of their classmates. The result—a dedicated network of leaders equipped to transform our community.

Leadership Premier is LHC’s signature program for senior-level business and community leaders. The Premier program is a 10-month, tuition-based program that begins in September with an energetic kickoff session and an inspiring two-day opening retreat, during which class members get to know each other and learn about their distinctive leadership styles. In the months that follow, the class is immersed in experiences that address specific aspects of our community. Each session day gives participants a hands-on look at what is happening in that field; the opportunity to hear from leaders of organizations and the key issues they are addressing; often, site visits and first-hand accounts of those who deliver services to the community are part of many sessions.

Each day-long experience is designed by Leadership Howard County alumni and other professionals who have expertise in the area of focus. In addition to each month’s day-long session, class members may take part in “learning opportunities” or experiential site visits to unique locations that provide a deeper understanding of issues, attractions, or topics in the community and work on community impact projects.

Click the links below to hear about class members’ Leadership Premier experience:

Leadership Premier 2020 Program

Leadership Premier 2019 Program

Community Impact Projects: Key to Connecting with the Community

At the opening retreat, class members form teams to take on a real-world community impact projects that benefit numerous local nonprofits. Forming close working relationships with a host organization, the team performs research and proposes creative, sustainable solutions to help a nonprofit achieve a goal that sustains or advances its mission.  This activity is designed to be a beneficial experience not only for the host organization but for participants as well, helping them gain a better understanding of community needs and a deeper appreciation for community involvement.

For the Class of 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Leadership Premier is a 10-month program, running from September to June. A mandatory two- day overnight retreat will be held September 23-24. Sessions are then held one full day per month from approximately 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Attendance for the entire day is expected. Applicants must have the full support (financial and time commitment) of the organization or corporation they represent.   In addition, class members are required to complete 3 learning opportunities (individually selected from a menu of 3-hour activities offered between October and May) and participate on a  Community Impact Project team that works with a local non-profit on a real-world organizational project; each team member contributes approximately 2-4 hours a month as determined by each team.

Each class consists of 45 – 50 individuals, who are selected from a cross-section of the community: large and small business, government, education, health care, and nonprofits including the arts, human services, and faith-based groups. Applicants must live or work in Howard County, should hold a position of responsibility or leadership in their jobs or volunteer organization, and should have a record of civic activity or demonstrated interest in the well-being of Howard County. They may be nominated by a graduate of LHC or by another community leader or may nominate themselves.

Leadership Premier offers an intense curriculum of civic information and leadership development. Through site visits, lectures, and informal discussion, participants learn how major decisions are made and who makes them. The program also utilizes a team-building overnight retreat that allows participants to examine the concepts of leadership.

The program covers topics such as:

    • Business and economic development
    • Criminal law and public safety
    • Education
    • Howard County history
    • Government and politics
    • Healthcare and aging
    • Human services and housing
    • Quality of life: cultural and recreational opportunities

The tuition for Leadership Premier (2021) is $5,800 and includes the overnight retreat, program transportation, meals during the monthly session and a ticket for the graduation event in June. Upon acceptance to the program, a $500 deposit is required.

A limited amount of need-based tuition assistance is available primarily to non-profits and small business owners. Payment plans are also available. A tuition assistance request must be submitted with the application. While we ask that individuals have the financial support of the organization or business they represent, we also encourage nonprofits and individuals with a sincere interest to apply, as community partnerships may also be available to offer additional financial assistance. All requests for tuition assistance must be received by the extended application deadline – June 15, 2020.

Continuing the Leadership Journey

Leadership Howard County’s alumni network is a remarkable resource of colleagues who share a common interest in community engagement. They are at the forefront of many of the current discussions in Howard County on growth and development, human services, economic impact, and more.

Alumni have the opportunity to stay connected through informative bimonthly programs and events, roundtable discussion sessions on hot topics, and our annual Big Event which brings inspiring and nationally known speakers to address leadership perspectives. Many also take part in activities with other community leadership groups in our region and stay actively involved in the many committees and programs that keep Leadership Howard County a vibrant and dynamic organization.

Learn More

Interested in Applying?

The application process for the class of 2021 is currently open. Want to learn more?  Please contact Stacie Hunt, President & CEO, Leadership Howard County at [email protected]. Participants will be notified of acceptance in early August.

APPLY Premier Reference Form Tuition Assistance Form


Do you know someone who would be a great candidate for Leadership Howard County? Tell us about them!  We encourage you to nominate individual(s) who have demonstrated leadership potential and have an interest and commitment to the Howard County community. Please submit your nominations by emailing Stacie Hunt at [email protected].

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