About Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association

Founded in 1984, the Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association is comprised of more than 1,000 graduates of the Leadership Lakeland program. Through its mission and vision, the alumni association endeavors to:

  • provide leadership experiences and outreach opportunities throughout the Lakeland community, and
  • empower and inspire Lakeland’s current and future generation of leaders.


Planning for the future requires an understanding of the many different components of the community.  Leadership Lakeland seeks to provide this understanding to community leaders, today and tomorrow.

Established by the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Lakeland is an annual program designed to identify and enhance the leadership currently existing in our community. The program unites leaders from diverse backgrounds and perspectives in order to increase their understanding of community issues and improve their ability to lead effectively.

"I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together. - Queen Elizabeth II"

Leadership Lakeland focuses on major areas of interest and concern, such as government and politics, economic development, the environment, criminal justice, business, education, communication and the media, health and social services.

The organization offers its members a broad range of experiences and insights about the community: its people, its needs, and its services.

Enhancing Leadership

Leadership Lakeland enhances the development of long-term leadership in the Chamber and the community by:

  • Identifying existing and emerging leadership from various geographic, ethnic, occupational, and economic segments of the community who have a sincere commitment to remain in the Lakeland area.
  • Acquainting these participants with a wide range of community issues, resources, and opportunities that exist in Greater Lakeland.
  • Increasing the leadership skills of the participants and developing “esprit de corps” among them which will provide a common ground for working together on present and future Chamber and community projects.
  • Providing the participants with the opportunity to meet and enhance ideas with each other and existing community leaders.
  • Assisting participants in finding placement in volunteer roles in the community.
  • Orienting the participants about the programs of the Chamber of Commerce and future involvement.

The Leadership Lakeland program is the Lakeland Chamber’s commitment to Lakeland’s future.

What drives us...

  • Our Mission

    Providing extraordinary learning experiences, inspiring community participation and leadership, cultivating and invigorating leaders in Lakeland.

  • Our Vision

    To inspire the leader in you.

  • Paying it forward...

    Leadership Lakeland…

    • gives an annual donation of $1,000 to the Jere Annis recipient’s charity of choice;
    • offers annual Emerging Leadership Scholarships to high school students;
    • has donated more than $20,000 worth of backpacks, school supplies, hygiene kits, and jackets to the HEARTH Program for homeless and at-risk students in Polk County since 2011;
    • provides funding and/or manpower each year to a Worthy Outreach Work (WOW) project in the community;
    • provides annual financial scholarships to assist participants in the current Leadership Lakeland program;
    • provides a variety of educational and leadership experiences for Lakeland’s current and future leaders, and
    • has donated more than $50,000 to nonprofit organizations since 2009.

Counting the ways...

34 Classes

963 Graduates

1000’s of Leader Initiatives