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Leadership Rockford

Application links at the bottom of this page.


Leadership Rockford Class
(photo by Brian Thomas Photography)

Thanks to
PNC Bank
2017/18 Leadership Rockford Sponsor


To enhance awareness of business, government and civic issues and opportunities through an interactive process and motivate direct involvement in business and community leadership.


This eight-month program begins with an all-day retreat on October 14 designed to increase self-awareness and lay the foundation for a meaningful year.

Class members continue to meet two or three times a month from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. for panel and group discussions followed by business and community tours. Each session is designed to introduce participants to specific and deliberate aspects of the community through engagement with community and industrial leaders. A high level of interaction is vital to each session. In order to graduate from the program, a participant must attend 80 percent of the class sessions. The program requires a serious commitment from both participants and their employers or sponsors.

Participants can expect that success fulfillment of requirements will allow for:

  • Access to key leaders and decision makers in the Rockford area
  • A holistic understanding of the intricate workings of the Rockford Community
  • Dynamic and significant interaction with fellow leaders as well as those firmly established in positions of influence in our region
  • Encouragement and motivation for direct involvement in business and community leadership

These are all integral components of the Leadership Rockford Program (formerly known as CAP).


Whether new to the community, newly promoted within their place of business, or just eager to become more involved in the Rockford area, participants represent a wide range of backgrounds: business, government, professions, social services, arts, and many others. The diversity of the class forms a dynamic cross-section of varying personal and professional viewpoints and perspectives.

Participation is open to employees of Chamber member organizations first with any remaining seats opening to the public after September 1.


Applications are now being accepted. As class size is limited, applications will be accepted until the class is full or September 1. Tuition for this intensive eight-month program is $1,250. Tuition covers all expenses for meetings and materials. The only additional fees assessed will be for optional social events.

Have questions or need a nomination form?

Contact Caitlin Pusateri, Vice President, Leadership Development
at 815-316-4337 or email

Download and fill out a Scholarship Application (PDF format)

Or You Can Apply Online Here!

For sponsorship information, please contact Lynette Jacques at 815-316-4317 or


Leadership Rockford is a program designed to build knowledge about Rockford and all that it offers. It focuses on what is positive about Rockford, opportunities for improvement, and the variety of ways that I can make a difference. This program has the right combination of local experts presenting facts, accomplishments and plans for Rockford, semi-monthly meetings, social hours, and outstanding peers who are growing into the roles as leaders for a better tomorrow in the Rockford region. Without hesitation, I recommend this program!

~ Sandie Soldwisch, PhD, APN, ANP-BC, President of the College
Saint Anthony College of Nursing, Leadership Rockford Class of 2016

Leadership Rockford was an unmatched look at the inner-workings of this community. I had the pleasure to talk with and hear the stories of many people whose heart and soul go into the work they do for this region. I also got to hear about the issues that the region faces, and the challenging work it has yet to see done. To me, that provided the kind of motivation that leads to effective leadership. The leaders of this area telling me how many opportunities I have to get involved and lead—I couldn't think of a better thing for a course on leadership to do.

~ Michael Sturm, FIELD, Class of 2016

Leadership Rockford offered a closer look at Rockford and its moving parts - the people, places, ideas, accomplishments and challenges. Our task as leaders is to keep improving our community. Several class discussions drew the same conclusion: Rockford has so much good going for it, and fortunately, the passion for this community is infectious. This class offered the groundwork and connections to great people - including my classmates - to contribute on a deeper level and to keep improving.

~ Cathy Bayer, Rockford Public Schools, Class of 2016

The Leadership Rockford program provided countless opportunities for me that I may have otherwise not had. I was able to learn about the various industries in the region and meet other professionals with diverse backgrounds and expertise. I graduated the program with a better understanding and appreciation for the Rockford region, a drive to volunteer, and with a great new network and friends.

~ Purvi Shah Khare, Rosecrance Health Network, Class of 2016

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