Our Leadership Programs
Founded by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce in 1986 to educate DeKalb’s corporate leadership about the problems and opportunities they were facing as the county was growing, the organization has focused on bringing together diverse leaders to help move the county forward.
Over the past 26 years, the organization has grown to more than 1,000 adult graduates with a class of about 50 people each year being introduced to a wide range of issues facing the county.
The 10-month curriculum includes a thought-provoking mix of program days including our county history, government, education, health, economic development, public safety and justice, as well as “nuts and bolts” experiences like riding a shift with a police officer and attending governmental meetings and budget hearings.
Many graduates attribute the Leadership DeKalb experience with giving them the connections and encouragement to move into higher levels of public service through their jobs and personal lives as well as running for public office. The program features a look at the county not available anywhere else.
In this time of many challenges to local government, it is more important than ever for communities to promote the development of an informed citizenry. Leadership DeKalb’s program directly addresses that issue. It promotes an understanding of the complexity of local government and encourages the participation of citizens in formulating public policy that impact the community.
~ Richard Stogner
Former Chief Operating Officer, DeKalb County
As the organization grows, more and more companies become sponsors and active members in the leadership of the organization. Leadership DeKalb focuses on connecting its members with each other and the community. A concerted effort is made to have the members of each class be reflective of the county’s rich cultural and ethnically diverse population.
In 1989, members created Youth Leadership DeKalb, a program designed for high school students to learn about community, diversity, team building, economic issues, politics, education, and personal leadership. Participants are chosen from DeKalb students who show qualities of an emerging leader.
This program has graduated more than 400 students, many of whom have returned to the DeKalb community with their leadership skills and are now in rewarding careers.