Wednesday May 17 was graduation day for the Leadership Killeen Class of 2017. This is the 30th class to graduate from the program, hosted by the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce since 1986. The 2016-2017 class had 23 graduates and included representatives from the following chamber members: A+ Federal Credit Union, Central Texas College, Century Link, City of Killeen, Cloud Read Estate, First National Bank Texas, Grace Christian Center, HEB, Killeen Independent School District, Lamar Advertising, Made of Gold Service, Metroplex Hospital, Morris Real Estate, and The United Methodist Church.

Leadership Killeen provides participants unparalleled leadership training and opportunities to learn about and become more involved in the local community. The purpose of the program is to engage emerging leaders with current business and community leaders to produce a shared vision for our community’s future. Pastor Mark Price of Grace Christian Center, who completed the program this year, explains, “Leadership Killeen gave me an opportunity to see all of the wonderful organizations and people that are making an impact in the lives of individuals, families and businesses. The program also raises expectations for yourself. Not only are you exposed to leaders and organizations, but you are afforded the opportunity to grow exponentially as a leader.”

Participants attended class beginning in September 2016 one day each month at various hosted locations. The curriculum focused on a different topic each month, such as Fort Hood, education, quality of life, healthcare, business and economic development, and both local and state government. The monthly sessions combined information, problem-solving and leadership development.

In addition to developing leadership skills, Leadership Killeen also gave participants the opportunity to make a difference in our community by identifying an area of need through a group project. Five projects were completed with a focus on education, quality of life or the military. Chamber staff partnered with Jim Bondi, Chief of Plans, Analysis, & Integration at US Army Garrison, Fort Hood, to conduct the monthly classes.

Johnny Mojica, HEB Area Community Coordinator, had this to say about the program: “Leadership Killeen has been by far the most educational, engaging, and enjoyable leadership program that I’ve had the pleasure of attending. It taught me new leadership skills and allowed me to understand Killeen’s unique culture and how Killeen continues to be a thriving community! I would recommend anyone who is new to the community or to those who would like to sharpen their leadership skills to join the GKCC Leadership Killeen program!”

Registration for the 2017-2018 class is currently underway. Applications are available here or by contacting Courtney Young at courtney@killeenchamber.com or 254.526.9551.