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, followed by 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, participants will be 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 monthly sessions, class members also 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.

If you missed the recent LHC Information Session, featuring Kimberly Prescott, LP ’18, LHC Board Member & Founder, Prescott HR, click here to access this recorded program. Learn more about LHC’s signature program, Leadership Premier, and the latest happenings in the ever-changing world of human resources. Applications for the 2025 LP Program are now available online and are due by May 17, 2024.

Interested in Applying?

Want to learn more about the 2025 program? Please contact Tim Payne, President & CEO, Leadership Howard County at


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 Tim Payne at

Frequently Asked Questions

Leadership Premier is a 10-month program, running from September to June.  Dates and details about the 2025 program will be announced soon and will consist of a kick-off session early to mid-September, followed by a two-day overnight retreat; subsequent sessions will then be held one full day per month from approximately 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and 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 activities offered during the program year) 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.  The application and related documents for the 2025 program will be available online in early February.  Please reach out to Tim Payne, President & CEO, with any questions.

Each class consists of 40 – 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 discussions, participants learn how major decisions are made and who makes them.

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 2025 is $6,400. and will include the retreat, program transportation (if needed), meals during the monthly session, and a ticket for the graduation event in June. Upon acceptance to the program, a $500 deposit will be 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, along with an application fee. 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 deadline.  

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.

LHC offers opportunities for Alumni to stay connected through informative bimonthly programs and events, roundtable discussion sessions on hot topics, and annual events such as A Night of Illuminating Leadership and The Big Event which brings inspiring and nationally known speakers to address leadership perspectives. Many alumni also participate 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.