From the Leadership Arkansas Program Coordinator Susie Marks

Leadership Arkansas is designed to promote the development of existing and emerging leaders and to create a committed, involved, and diverse network of leaders in Arkansas. More than 400 individuals have completed this outstanding program, including leaders representing the areas of business and industry, education, nonprofit, government and civic organizations.

Leadership Arkansas is based on a model that incorporates sessions that include programming on issues critical to Arkansas, leadership skills, assessment and relevant information on Arkansas’ history, demography, diversities and opportunities. One of the most rewarding and lasting benefits of the program is the valuable time spent interacting with other leaders from a variety of professions, philosophies and parts of the state who represent Arkansas’ diverse population.

To build community knowledge, participants are introduced to critical regional issues, meet and discuss issues with leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors and identify areas of community need and methods required to succeed as community leaders.

After nine months of intensive study and dialogue, individuals who go through the program have a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the complexity of the state and local communities and are uniquely positioned to make meaningful contributions. Leadership Arkansas graduates go on to:

• Chair local community projects

• Serve on statewide boards and commissions

• Volunteer their time

• Invest in Arkansas’s local community

There’s no question, Leadership Arkansas graduates help make our state work and grow, but that’s not the only benefit. When they fully participate in the program, they expand their network, their understanding of our state and their skills as a leader. It’s hard not to be changed as a person after connecting and working closely with others who share the desire for change and solutions. Plus, there’s no better way to get to know the place where you live. Many participants have lived in Arkansas for years or even decades and were surprised at how much they did not know about our state. The history, the people, the problems, the solutions: all discovered because they made a decision to get involved.

As we plan for Class VIII, we are seeking individuals to join us in discovering the many facets and needs of our state, and take the lead in shaping Arkansas’s future.

Susie P. Marks, CCE

Senior Vice President-Programs