Leadership Program

Organization: Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, Inc.

History: Program has been in continuous operation since 1987.

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


  • A sincere concern about the future of our state and commitment to help shape its future.
  • Commitment through past and present community involvement.
  • A demonstrated capacity for leadership within the individual’s own organization.
  • A willingness to commit the energy necessary to complete the program (two years), including monthly attendance at all sessions.

Selection Process:
Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of members of the Leadership Board of Directors, which is comprised of various Leadership graduates.

Participants: Employees, companies, government and professionals anxious to grow and become more effective.

Tuition: $850.00 with a $25 administrative fee (usually paid by employer)

Sessions: The program requires attendance one day per month starting in September and ending in June. 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 of the year-long session topics are the following:

  • Orientation
  • Health & Human Services
  • Economic Development
  • Education
  • Judiciary
  • Military
  • Media
  • Government
  • Tourism, Arts & Transportation
  • Retreat
  • Graduation

Participants are expected to attend all sessions. 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. Upon completion of the first year, participants will be assigned to various planning committees (minimum of two) for the sessions of the following Leadership Program year. A participant is expected to attend all planning committee meetings with their respective committees, as well as attend the sessions they assisted in planning.

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. Leadership skills are challenged in a variety of simulation exercises. 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 Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, Inc. The Leadership Board of Directors governs program structure, budget, fees 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 Chamber at MCronin@ChamberECT.com or via phone at (860) 701-9113.

Apply to participate in the leadership program.


The class of 2013 and 2014 share their thoughts on the value of this great program.

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