Join Next CLN Class Year

Grow. Inspire. Lead. Apply Today!

The CLN Leadership Development Experience

Registration for the following year class opens October 1. Applications due by Nov. 15. DO NOT DELAY – class size is limited to 30 and may sell out in advance. Please read ‘Application Requirements’ below carefully. Application contains several brief essay questions. Please give yourself ample time to complete.

ATTENTION: The Class of 2024 is SOLD OUT! Applications received after November 15, 6:00pm will be placed on a wait list.

Applicant Requirements

  • Live and/or work in Chautauqua County
  • Show interest in building a better community in active control of its destiny
  • Possess the willingness to participate in a growing network of knowledgeable and trained leaders
  • Seek improvement of leadership development skills for career achievement or participation in community activities
  • Have support from their sponsoring organization to attend programming
  • Have the time to devote to the program and the training
  • Class of 2024 tuition cost $1,800. Most applicants seek sponsorship from their employer. Limited scholarships may be available.
  • The CLN program begins with a weekend retreat mid-February. It is followed by 1/2-day or full-day training sessions occurring once a month. In addition, there are small group projects that require some participation outside of the scheduled training time.
  • Candidates are REQUIRED to attend the weekend retreat and all training sessions. Your year-long leadership development builds on the critical lessons from the Retreat. TUITION IS NON-REFUNDABLE.

ATTENTION: The Class of 2024 is SOLD OUT! Applications received after November 15, 6:00pm will be placed on a wait list.

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Upcoming Events

Participant and Employer Benefits

Participant Gains

• A greater understanding of selected leadership competencies
A better understanding of self and personal leadership style
A new set of skilled peers and networking sources
Knowledge of Chautauqua County’s communities along with their assets and challenges

Employer Gains

 An employee with knowledge gained in identified leadership competency areas
 Employees with a better understanding of the community environment
 Higher visibility through the company’s increased involvement in community affairs
 Increased access to other community leaders and resources

Program Core Competencies

  • Self-Awareness: an honest understanding of your own values, desires, thought patterns, motivations, goals and ambitions, emotional responses, strengths and weaknesses, and effect on others
  • Team Building: ability to inspire and foster team commitment, spirit, pride, and trust; facilitate cooperation and motivate team members to accomplish group goals
  • Creativity: ability to reexamine traditional strategies and practices, and proactively look for new ideas and ways to improve products, services, and work processes
  • Communication: ability to clearly convey information, expectations, and ideas to individuals and groups in ways that produce effective coordination; delivers and receives feedback with candor and civility
  • Asset Discovery: understanding of Chautauqua County business sectors and industry, available resources, and recreational activities
  • Organization Skills: ability to manage duties through wise planning, time optimization, detail orientation and prioritization
  • Developing Others: seeks opportunities to motivate and mentor individuals professionally; empower others to take on responsibilities; foster optimism and energy for reaching goals; help individuals develop broader understanding of potential career opportunities
  • Ethics/Integrity: ability to instill mutual trust and confidence, create a culture that fosters high standards of ethics, behave in a fair and ethical manner toward others, and demonstrate a sense of corporate responsibility and commitment to service
  • Leading Change: ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals; ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment
  • Social Intelligence: capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions effectively in others and ourselves especially in social interactions
  • Networking/Building Partnerships: ability to develop contacts with people who are a source of information and support and maintaining those contacts through various methods; ability to identify and initiate working relationships and to develop and maintain them in a way that is of mutual benefit

“While I may have been born with some gifts for leadership and administration, they were raw and unrefined until my CLN experience (Class of 2010). During my sessions, I gained practical skills and knowledge about my specific behaviors and traits that I continue to lean on almost daily. I continue to grow as a leader and I can’t imagine where I would be without the CLN experience. As the leader of a nonprofit organization, I love extending the CLN class opportunity to members of my team. Each person we have encouraged to participate experiences personal growth, deepens their connection to the community, and builds a stronger network of peers. The unanticipated benefit are the new volunteers that find their way to our community committees through those new relationships. In my role as leader of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, there are daily reminders of why community leadership development is key to our shared success. Our greatest resources are the talented, committed individuals who choose to live, work and play here and CLN is part of the foundation of our bright future.”

Tory Irgang, Executive Director
Chautauqua Region Community Foundation

Chautauqua Leadership Network claimed that I would ……
Improve my leadership skills.
I did, even though I thought I had heard it all before.

Expand my awareness of Chautauqua County–its assets, and challenges.
Absolutely, my classmates made me understand the assets of our area in a way no one else had ever explained, and with passion, through their stories.

Establish a framework for leadership focused on community development.
Framework makes CLN sound impersonal. CLN is extraordinarily personal in the way it connects people and develops relationships within the county.

Create a network with knowledgeable committed trained leaders, “difference makers” in Chautauqua County.
The individuals I met in CLN, and have since developed relationships with, are the difference makers. They have compassion, understanding, and empathy for what is truly happening in Chautauqua County.

Provide an opportunity that is above and beyond the training they have in their chosen professions.
The training through CLN took each of us outside of our ‘comfort zone’ and so-called areas of expertise. We learned skills that were outside of our professional careers but that would broaden our horizons and make us more empathetic and understanding leaders.

But the most impactful, meaningful and lasting benefit is that CLN created a robust network.
I developed a relationship with classmates that I may never have become acquainted with. These individuals have not only become mentors, but also mentees. They provide unique resources, based on their individual background and skillset, that I will look to and utilize into the unforeseeable future.

John Felton, CEO
Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union

Class Schedule

CLN Orientation Retreat with Kirk Young and Kyle Reyes
Friday/Saturday – February 18-19
7:30 am – 9:00 pm
Chautauqua Harbor Hotel

Welcome Reception Class of 2022
Saturday, March 12
12 pm – 2 pm
Location TBD

Leadership Scavenger Hunt
Cindy Aronson
Thursday, March 17
12:30 pm – 4:30 pm
National Comedy Center

Case Studies in Leadership
Craig Garass-Johnson
Wednesday, April 13
Park UMC

Panel Discussion
Tuesday, May 10
8 am – 12 pm
St Mary’s Church, Mayville

Difficult Conversations
Simone Sellstrom
Wednesday, June 15
1-5 pm
JCC South

Introduction to Leaders in Action
PD Committee
Tuesday, July 12
12 am  – 5 pm
21 Brix

Chautauqua Lecture
Theme: New Profiles in Courage
Misty Copeland
9 am – 1 pm
Chautauqua Institution

Leaders in Action Presentations
Tuesday, Sept. 13
8 am – 12 pm
Park UMC

Creative Leadership
Jane Fischer
Wednesday October 13
1-5 pm
Location TBD

Capstone and Celebration!
Tuesday, Nov. 8
1-5 pm
21 Brix

CLN Annual Meeting
December – TBD
4 pm
Location TBD