The Abilene Chamber believes we have leaders within our community on the cusp of greatness. To help foster and further develop a community of leaders, we’re proud to offer you the opportunity to have one of your team members apply to the Leadership Abilene Class of 2024.
We’re committed to helping our partners invest in their talent through comprehensive community leadership development training so your business leaders can connect and grow within our community.
What it looks like: Through monthly, full-day sessions focusing on key community issues and topics, participants have a chance to deepen their understanding of the inner workings of the Big Country and develop the broad and inclusive mindset needed for community stewardship.
The Goal: To create a network of community leaders who act on the need, the desire, and the ambition to work for the common good and serve the primary needs of others by holding our community in trust.
In short, each attendee will:
- Build meaningful, long-lasting connections
- Learn from our region’s most influential leaders
- Think critically about key business, policy and civic issues facing the Abilene area
Ready to dive in?
Applications for the next Leadership Abilene Class will open June 3, 2024. For questions about this process, please reach out to Leadership Abilene staff liaison, Jennifer Kent.
THE PURPOSE OF LEADERSHIP ABILENE
Identify and motivate potential leaders
Acquaint them with community needs
Provide insight into techniques, opportunities, and challenges of leadership
Explore alternate perspectives for community challenges
Encourage new leaders to community involvement
Leadership Abilene strives to expose participants to the many services, resources, organizations and businesses that make Abilene unique. Each month (of the nine-month program) the group will attend presentations, tour facilities and interact with representatives from local businesses, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and public offices.
This highly sought-after and respected program accepts up to 36 participants each year from a wide cross-section of Abilenians. After almost 40 years, Leadership Abilene Alumni can be found serving on boards, leading companies and creating new opportunities.
Who should apply?
Anyone 21 and older who is interested in expanding your network and gaining deeper insight and access to all that Abilene has to offer.
What is the time commitment?
This program runs one full day, monthly, September through May. Usually on a Thursday or a Friday. A mandatory orientation and seven out of the nine program days are required to graduate from the program.
Why should I do this?
Leadership Abilene offered me an avenue to explore leadership opportunities alongside others with the same goal. Leadership Abilene also provided valuable insight into how I can make an impact in my community. -Emerald Cassidy, ACU
Two of the many great experiences I took from Leadership Abilene are, one, the numerous close friendships that developed during that year and beyond, and two, I gained a greater understanding
and appreciation for how this GREAT city operates and serves its GREAT citizens! -Luke Harwell, Baack’s Florist
Being part of Leadership Abilene gives you an opportunity to see what it takes to make and keep Abilene the great city that it is. If you want to be part of this community, from the inside out, Leadership Abilene should be on your bucket list! – Yanell Rieder, Casa Authentique
Class of 2024
Grayson Allred, Historic Paramount Theatre
Samantha Baker, First Financial Bank
Peter Bosma, Rentech Boiler Systems
Karla Brown, West Texas Rehabilitation Center
Rosten Callarman, Habitat for Humanity, Abilene, Inc.
Starla Cason, Betty Hardwick Center
Essie Childers, Mvita Educational Consulting, LLC
Dillon Clark, Clark Nissan
Phil Crowley, Taylor County Judge
Michael Dean, Big Country CASA, Inc.
Denise Decker, Eide Bailly LLP
Jesiree Driskell, Hendrick Health
Denae Duesler, Abilene Zoological Society
Marcus Dunn, Abilene Christian University
Alejandro Elias, Victory Spinal Care
Chris Flemming, Dyess Air Force Base
Keeley Gaddis, Condley and Company, LLP
Collin Heidenheimer, First Financial Bank
Whitney Herrington, Frontier Texas!
Jery Huddleston, Dyess Air Force Base
Michael Hutchison, McMurry University
Andrea Jackson, Jackson Law Firm
Tristan King, Jacob & Martin, Ltd.
Jordan Kittley, Expo Center of Taylor County
Robert Lopez, Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau
Robert Marshall, Hendrick Home for Children
PJ Martinez, Abilene Christian University
Jeremy McBrayer, Lantrip’s Custom Homes, Inc.
Ryan Mitchell, McMahon Surovik Suttle, P.C.
Wes Modawell, Atmos Energy
Cristal Murillo, KTXS – CW Abilene – MeTV – ABC38 – CW San Angelo
Jordan Robison, Natura Resources, LLC
Kacey Stanfield, CCSB – Coleman County State Bank
Bradley Stevens, Action Professional Outsourcing
Taylor Swanzy, Buffalo Gap Chamber of Commerce
Sandra Welling, Hardin-Simmons University
Robyn Wertheim, State Representative Stan Lambert