Leadership Cincinnati

Leadership Cincinnati - no usa                        Cincinnati USA Leadership Program


Leadership Cincinnati is the region's flagship leadership development program for the established, senior leader who is passionate about making a difference in the community. This experience-based program is designed to help participants understand the assets and challenges of the region, elevate their leadership and further engage in the community. Participants join a premier group of more than 1700 graduates from four decades.


  • Develop - continue to enhance and challenge your leadership skills. Develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the assets and challenges of the community. 
  • Connect - develop long-lasting business and personal relationships.
  • Engage - based on the learnings from the program determine a meaningful way to further engage in the community.


Leadership Cincinnati is an immersive learning experience. The program focuses on providing content, hands on experiences, and conversations with thought leaders from the community. 

The program kicks off with a two day retreat at Camp Joy to allow the class to come together as a group and begin to form long-lasting relationships. We often hear the feedback that the most valuable components of the program are the class relationships and connections that are formed throughout the year.  

Each session following Camp Joy is designed around a key community topic to allow participants to truly gain a better understanding of all the interconnections of the community. The topics include:

  • Regionalism
  • Sustainability
  • Justice
  • Economic Development
  • Inclusion
  • Health & Wellness
  • Arts & Culture
  • Education
  • Human Services

Each of these sessions are designed to better understand the topic by hearing from relevant leaders and community members. The sessions also include tours to unique places and activities to truly understand the content. This could include a tour through the Jail, human service agencies, poverty simulation, class performances as artists and much more. 

We often hear that a critical piece of the entire experience is the Inclusion Weekend. The group spends a full day at the Islamic Center in West Chester (including Friday prayer), and that evening members of the class might have dinner in a Muslim or Hindu home, with Mexican immigrants, with the working poor, homeless people, or with returning citizens. This is an eye opening experience as we strive to understand different perspectives. 

In 2015, we eliminated the traditional class projects from Leadership Cincinnati (now the focus of Leadership Action). This allows participants to explore the region more broadly through group experiences suggested by the program and the class members. This has also proven to be a more reasonable time commitment for senior executives. 


Leadership Cincinnati is a highly competitive program. Each year we strive to assemble a class that reflects the diversity of our metropolitan region. Out of the 54 members of each class, 27 men and 27 women, every class has leaders of large corporations, mid-sized companies, and entrepreneurs, as well as not-for-profit leaders and government leaders. In the spirit of the Chamber’s "Diverse by Design" initiative, we actively seek participation of immigrants as well as racial and ethnic minorities. Leadership Cincinnati targets seasoned executive leaders that are ready to focus on their legacy. 

Key Program Dates (2017-2018)

Participation is critical for the success of the program. The Venture Out and Inclusive Leadership weekends are mandatory parts of the program and we ask you not to apply if you would have to miss those dates. Due to emergencies class members are permitted to miss two classes. If you miss more than two classes you will be withdrawn from the program. 

Call to Leadership/Welcome to Leadership - September 7, 2017
Venture Out (Camp Joy) - September 15-16, 2017
Inclusive Leadership - February 2-3, 2018 

Full-Day Sessions:
October 12, 2017
November 2, 2017
December 7, 2017
January 11, 2018
March 1, 2018
April 12, 2018
May 3, 2018
June 7, 2018
June 14, 2018

Tuition & Application Fee

Tuition is $4,500 for employees of companies that are members of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. If your company or organization is not a member there is an additional $1000 fee. A limited number of partial scholarships are granted annually to members of smaller not-for-profits and entrepreneurs who require financial assistance. Contact Amy Thompson at athompson@cincinnatichamber.com to discuss membership or scholarships.  

Please note there is a non-refundable application fee of $50. You will be asked to pay by credit card at the end of the online application process.


Opens in February, Closes in May

It is not uncommon for people to apply two to three times before being accepted into the program. The selection committee works hard to ensure a diverse cross-section of applicants are selected for the program. 

Applications for Leadership Cincinnati Class 41 (2017-2018) are due May 5, 2017. Applicants will be informed by July 7, 2017. We recommend putting the dates on your calendar until you receive notice on the status of your application. 

How to apply >>


For more information, contact Amy Thompson, Program Director, at athompson@cincinnatichamber.com or 513-579-3141.


Recommend a candidate for our next Leadership Cincinnati class.  

Leadership Cincinnati sponsored by:

First Financial Bank lg

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