January 14, 2019

Leadership Columbia Class of 2020 Applications are Now Open

The Columbia Chamber’s leadership program, Leadership Columbia, is now taking applications for the Class of 2020. Founded in 1972, the program is a 10-month course designed to provide our community with an enduring source of leaders who are prepared and committed to serving their region. Approximately 60 applicants will be selected this summer as the 47th Class of Leadership Columbia.

“Leadership Columbia helps prepare the next generation of CEOs, volunteers, entrepreneurs, and community leaders to make a significant impact,” said Carl Blackstone, Columbia Chamber President and CEO. “Businesses and communities thrive when strong business leaders can articulate a vision for the region’s future and are willing to work to achieve it.”

A skills-building program, Leadership Columbia aims to: identify and motivate emerging community leaders; provide an educational experience with a strong emphasis on social and community awareness; and challenge participants to apply their talents within their community while providing an opportunity to become involved

“Leadership Columbia teaches more than business and economic development, it teaches young professionals to care for the community they live in by exposing them to real issues present in our community,” said current Leadership Columbia Advisory Board Chair, Hilary Dyer Brannon. “The Advisory Board makes sure that the skills learned through Leadership Columbia are transferable and useful in every professional field and is always looking for ways to shape the program as the community changes.”

The class curriculum includes an in-depth look at the critical issues and opportunities within the community. Through hands-on experiences the candidates fully explore topics such as: education, politics, government, arts, economic development, finance, health services, criminal justice, law enforcement, military affairs, tourism and many more.

“Leadership Columbia provides a unique learning experience with the best in the greater Columbia area and helps to shape emerging leaders’ careers with hands-on activities in real businesses across the Midlands,” stated Rachel Popkowski, Leadership Columbia Advisory Board Chair-Elect.

Apply to the Leadership Columbia class of 2020 HERE. For questions, please contact Charlotte Bian-Lingle at

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