Who participates in Leadership Oakland?
Talented, committed professionals with a desire to strengthen their leadership, organizations and community make up a Leadership Oakland class. The program is open to people living or working in Oakland County and the surrounding region. Participants come from a wide variety of industries, backgrounds, career levels, and age ranges from those in their 20s to those in their 70s.
How does the program work?
The Leadership Oakland Cornerstone Program is going to be a virtual program for LOXXXII.  It is a nine-month program that kicks off with a Leadership Development Retreat consisting of 2 1/2 days in early September. At the retreat, participants get to know one another, gain an overview of the region, examine their leadership potential, and set goals for the year. The Retreat is followed by two half-day sessions each month from October through May. Each session is designed to expose participants to current resources and issues impacting our region as well as prompt them to think more deeply about their individual and group leadership growth and actions. The program concludes with the group Day of Service project and special graduation event.
How can I be part of the next Leadership Oakland class?
Mark your calendar for January 2021. That's when the application period opens. The class is limited to approximately 50 participants who are selected by the Leadership Oakland Selection Committee. The committee seeks to create a class that reflects a cross section of the community, representing diversity of race, culture, age, and gender, and ability, as well as a diverse group of professional affiliations. In making its selection, the committee also looks for individuals most apt to utilize their leadership for the long-term benefit of the community.
Do I have to be part of a company or large organization to apply?
No. In fact, we’ve seen an increase in the number of entrepreneurs/small business owners and community leaders choosing to participate in recent years.
When is the application deadline?
The early application deadline is April 30, 2021. The standard application deadline is June 30, 2021.
What are the advantages of applying before the early application deadline?
Your application will be considered in the early selection review that happens in May. Applicants accepted during that review phase will lock in their spot for the year, regardless of the number of applications received after April 30, 2021.
How much is the program? Are there scholarships available?
The tuition cost is $3,500 and includes retreat accommodations, class materials and meals during the monthly sessions. We have some limited, partial scholarships available for applicants who are paying the tuition themselves or are from smaller businesses or non-profit organizations. If you are interested in scholarship assistance, please note that with your application, and be assured it will not affect the selection process. We also work with individuals, if needed, in establishing a payment plan.
Do I really have time for this?
We hear from a number of graduates who, initially hesitant about the time commitment, found that the experience and relationships created exceeded their expectations and determined it was a wise investment of time. If you are concerned, please feel free to contact Thomas Sommer, Executive Director, at 516-592-0237. He can guide you in making an informed decision. Some potential applicants wait a year or more before applying. Others jump right in. We are most concerned about the quality of the experience, and getting the timing right, for each participant.
I have more questions. Where can I get them answered?
Our Executive Director, Thomas Sommer, and staff members are happy to answer any questions to help you make an informed decision about applying. Contact them at tsommer@leadershipoakland.com, or 516-592-0237.