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.  After graduation, the Leadership Cleveland County Alumni association contacts will help provide future connections in the community.

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 10, 2018. Applicants will be notified before August 10 as to whether or not they have been selected.

Participants: Employees from public, private and non-profit organizations anxious to grow and become more effective.

Tuition: $775 for Chamber Members; $995 for non-members

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. Public, private, non-profit and educational 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, each participant will be assigned to a planning committee for one of 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 session 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.


Erin Jolly, Owner, Jolly Realty
“Leadership Cleveland County is an outstanding program for those who are interested in not only learning more about our community, but also getting involved in the community making it a great place for people to return, and grow their families.  Those Wednesdays we met were by far the most enjoyable day of the week.  If you are looking for a fun way to network, build life long relationships, and learn more about Cleveland County, then this is the program you have been looking for!”

Allison Hodges, EC Auxiliary Services/Compliance, Cleveland County Schools:
“I have always believed that leaders are born to lead and that one does not have to have a title to be an accomplished leader. By participating in Leadership Cleveland County for the past year, both of my beliefs were proven true.  I had the opportunity to learn from numerous determined, outstanding,  clever, and hard working leaders I never knew were present in our impressive county!”

Jerrianne Queen, Director of the Library, Cleveland Community College:
“Leadership Cleveland County became the highlight of each month for me. I couldn’t wait until it was Leadership Day again. Learning about so many aspects of Cleveland County opened my eyes to the multitude of opportunities there are to be involved in my community.”


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.”

Chris Mattox, Production Scheduler, Greenheck Fan
“As someone who had no clue what I was getting into when moving from Kentucky to Cleveland County, NC this class was of the greatest importance to me. Not only have I been able to learn valuable lessons in regards to be becoming a better leader through the presentations provided by Cyndi, and of course the great leaders of our community that we have been able to meet each class, but most importantly I was able to learn what Cleveland County has to offer. I went from not knowing anything at all about this area, to knowing more about Cleveland County than I now know about my home in Kentucky. It has really helped me and my family become acclimated and feel like we are Home! The class has also brought on a new inspiration inside of me to become more involved which was not something I had wanted to do prior to this experience.”


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