Enrollment is open for Leadership Whatcom, a program of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry designed to cultivate the next generation of community leaders.

Leadership Whatcom is a community leadership training program that brings emerging and established leaders together to develop leadership skills, while gaining unique insights into the multifaceted issues facing our county.

The class of 20-25 business professionals from various industries, nonprofits and municipalities participate in the 10-month program that includes interactive workshops hosted throughout the county to introduce Leadership participants to area industries and government leaders. Classes meet one day each month for 10 months with no classes in July and August for summer vacation.

The program focuses on practical leadership skills that help build bridges across generations, differing perspectives and sectors of the community. In addition, participants will collaborate with Leadership Whatcom alumni in order to build a program that utilizes the strengths of its graduates to mentor its students.

“The revamped program has received very positive feedback from the Leadership Whatcom class of 2015,” said Guy Occhiogrosso, President/CEO of the Chamber.

2015 Leadership Whatcom alumni Iris Maute-Gibson of Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center said, “As a young professional, Leadership Whatcom was the perfect opportunity. Our diverse cohorts challenged and supported each other through bolstering leadership skills, as well as our sense of place here in Whatcom County. This program will benefit me at work, at home, and in the community for decades to come!”

2015 Leadership Whatcom alumni Becky Raney of Print & Copy Factory added “Leadership Whatcom is a powerful program that brings people together to learn many different aspects of Whatcom County.  We came together to learn how to listen, work together, ask questions, accomplish goals and apply forward thinking to support our communities for a strong future.”

Enrollment for the program is $1,000 for Chamber members and $1,200 for non-members and requires a 10-month commitment. Applications for the 2015-16 Leadership Whatcom Class are available at bellingham.com.

For more information on Leadership Whatcom, including information on sponsorship opportunities and how to apply, please contact the Chamber offices at 734-1330.  You can also go online to the front door of the community, bellingham.com, where you will find general information on individual class sessions as well as an electronic copy of the application. Deadline to apply is February 12, 2016

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The Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry has been serving its members and the local business community since 1911 as the voice of business in Bellingham and Whatcom County. The Chamber is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit that promotes community and a strong economy; provides programs and events for its members; facilitates factually based dialog between business, the government and the community; and represent business interests with government and the community.