Douglas County launching new Community Leadership Program

by | Mar 4, 2019 | Doing It Local, Education, Professional Services

Wichita, Kan. – Today, the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Douglas County Community Foundation, Douglas County E-Community and Leadership Lawrence will launch Leadership Douglas County.

“We’re thrilled to launch this new Community Leadership Program (CLP) with a class of 23 participants from the communities and rural areas of Douglas County and an all-star faculty team. The program is modeled after Leadership Lawrence and fully embraces the Kansas Leadership Center’s principles and competencies,” said Jeannette Blackmar, co-director of Leadership Douglas County.

Targeting up-and-coming business leaders from the business, nonprofit and public sectors in Eudora, Lecompton and Baldwin City, the four-month program will provide leadership skills training, create a network of informed leaders, and encourage community involvement to solve local challenges. Leadership Douglas County is based on the Kansas Leadership Center’s principles of leadership:

– Leadership is an activity, not a position.

– Anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere.

– It starts with you and must engage others.

– Your purpose must be clear.

– It is risky.

“A critical component of KLC’s work to transform civic life in Kansas is to encourage and support local leadership programs, which form a bedrock of leadership throughout the state,” said Racquel Thiesen, community leadership programs chair for the Kansas Leadership Center.

Leadership Douglas County is a joint partnership between Heather Hoy, director of philanthropy and community relations for the Douglas County Community Foundation, and Jeanette Blackmar, director of the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce. The program’s faculty are Bryan Culver, Patrick Kelly and Sue Hack from Leadership Lawrence.

“Leadership programs like this increase the community’s ability to tackle difficult challenges while simultaneously building community morale. People equipped with shared leadership behaviors are energized and inspired to do important work. That’s why the launch of Leadership Douglas County matters so much. The participants will see their community differently and have new tools to use as a result. Also, it’s really fantastic to see Leadership Lawrence playing a role in this start-up—it demonstrates what’s possible when we’re working for the common good,” said Thiesen.

To learn more about Leadership Douglas County and explore sponsorship opportunities, call Jeanette Blackmar at 785-594-3200.




About the Kansas Leadership Center

The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) is a first-of-its-kind educational organization, based in Wichita but with a statewide focus and global reach. Founded in 2007 to foster civic leadership for healthier Kansas communities, KLC provided training to more than 9,000 participants during its first decade of existence. It receives core funding from the Kansas Health Foundation in Wichita. Learn more at



Carrie Lindeman


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