Leadership Cleveland County


The Chamber started Leadership Cleveland County in 1989. Designed to develop informed, involved and concerned leaders within the community, Leadership Cleveland County gives participants the opportunity to study Cleveland County businesses and communities – its history, government, economy, human services and culture –and recognize challenges, opportunities and resources.

The program gives both experienced and developing leaders a broader view of civic leadership responsibilities and opportunities through direct contact with a wide spectrum of institutions and people who shape the community where we live and work.

Want to participate in Leadership Cleveland County?

This Program Offers:

Program Requirements:

  • Mandatory attendance for the retreat in August, all subsequent program days, and graduation. A typical program day begins at 8:00 am and concludes at 5:00 pm the first Wednesday of each month. It is expected that all class participants attend all class related activities.
  • In addition to monthly sessions, class members are also required to attend three public body meetings (city council, county commission, school board) during the course of the year and participate in a class project.

Program Qualifications:

  • A sincere concern about the future of our state and commitment to help shape its future.
  • Commitment through past and present community involvement.
  • A demonstrated capacity for leadership within the individual’s own organization.
  • A willingness to commit the energy necessary to complete the program.



Selection Process:
Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee and class members will be selected on the basis of employment/professional experience, community involvement, geographic representation, job sector and diversity. All applications must be submitted by August 4, 2017. Applicants will be notified before August 11 as to whether or not they have been selected.

Participants: Employees, companies, government and professionals anxious to grow and become more effective.

Tuition: $775 for Chamber Members; $995 for non-members (usually paid by employer)

Sessions: The program requires attendance one day per month starting in August and ending in June. Each meeting is held at a location appropriate to the topic of the session, so that participants gain a broader view of the community. Business, private and public organizations act as hosts for each program. Typical of the year-long session topics are the following:

  • Retreat
  • Health & Human Services
  • Economic Development
  • Education
  • Industry
  • Non-Profit
  • City of Kings Mountain
  • Small Business/Entrepreneurism
  • Government/Public Safety
  • City of Shelby
  • Tourism
  • Graduation

Participants are expected to attend all sessions. Only two absences will be permitted for emergency purposes. If candidates are unable to commit to the program schedule, it is not in their best interest to apply at this time. Upon completion of the first year, participants will be assigned to various planning committees for the sessions of the following Leadership Program year. A participant is expected to attend all planning committee meetings with their respective committees, as well as attend the sessions they assisted in planning.

Format: Each session is planned by a sub-committee of Alumni. The sessions provide participants with a sense of issues relevant to the day’s theme. Participants are introduced to the key leaders in each discipline, conducted through a series of discussions, lectures, group discussions and tours. Leadership skills are challenged in a variety of simulation exercises.


Kenny Gehrig, Housing Coordinator, Partners Behavioral Health Management:
“It is a privilege to be an alumni of Leadership Cleveland County. Those who desire to learn more about themselves, their fellow leaders and the county they serve; this is for you. Worth every moment.”

Ken Mooney, Vice President, Continuing Education, Cleveland Community College:
“Although it has been 5 years, my Leadership Cleveland County experience continues to pay dividends. My exposure to the many dimensions of Cleveland County during LCC left me with a rich appreciation for our county and the relationships that were built and strengthened during that year have been priceless.”

Sharon Robbs, Executive Director, Communities in Schools:
“I am a proud graduate of Leadership Cleveland County.  This program changed my life.  As a new Executive Director, it empowered and challenged me to be a better Leader.  I learned things about my community and myself that I did not know. It opened my eyes to all of the wonderful resources and opportunities that Cleveland County offers.  I highly recommend that every Leader in Cleveland County participate in this program. This experience has been one of the best endeavors of my professional career.”

Further Information: Contact The Chamber at [email protected] or via phone at (704) 487-8521.