About Us

A respected leadership development program in DeKalb County, Leadership DeKalb was founded in 1986 by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce to educate community leaders and to address issues facing the growing population. In 1994, Leadership DeKalb became an independent nonprofit organization. Since then, more than 1,000 community leaders have completed the program. Graduates of the program include CEO’s of top public and private companies, as well as a large number of DeKalb’s elected officials, educators, judges, entrepreneurs, volunteers and nonprofit leaders.

Leadership DeKalb convenes and connects leaders, informs them on matters vital to the county and enhances their leadership skills. This strengthened pipeline of talent immerses in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, thereby advancing quality of life in DeKalb.

With focus on the entire county, we position current and emerging leaders – reflecting the area’s rich diversity – to unite, commit and act to make DeKalb a premier place to live, work and enjoy life.

Class members learn about history, diversity, government, justice, arts and culture, education, health and economic development in the county. Classmates and alumni gain access to other leaders in all of these sectors. With over 1,000 alumni, we facilitate long-term leadership sustainability.

The Steering Committee consisted of Chairman Sid Johnson, Judy Arrington, Lee Conn, Doug Dillard, Jimmy Fluker, Barry Gary, Kick Hills, Polly Lewis, Jack Mathis, Dick McGinnis, Bob McMahan, Mal McSwain, Charlotte Rowell, Mo Thrash, Jim Topple and Dr. Tim Waits.