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Leadership Rockford

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Leadership Rockford logo
Mr. Goodwater logo

Leadership Rockford (formerly known as CAP) has graduated
1,800+ professionals. Check out the list of alumni here!

Designed to provide a holistic understanding of the Rockford community, Leadership Rockford is an 8-month program suitable for emerging leaders, leaders new to the community, or leaders eager to become more involved in the Rockford region. Members of the class represent a wide range of backgrounds, organizations, and levels of experience. The diversity of the class forms a dynamic cross-section of personal and professional viewpoints and perspectives. Leadership Rockford provides each participant with an in-depth understanding of the local community, including its history, opportunities and successes.

The mission of Leadership Rockford is to build leadership skills and enhance awareness of business, government and civic issues through interaction and direct involvement with business and community leaders. Participants can expect:

  • Exclusive introductions to the people that make up the very core of the Rockford Region
  • Behind-the-scene looks of successful organizations in the Rockford Region through company tours
  • Lively discussion and interaction with emerging leaders and people firmly established in positions of influence
  • A further understanding of personal leadership strengths and opportunities
  • Access to opportunities encouraging further business and community leadership development

2024/2025 Program Dates:

September 25 | Kick-Off Social | 3:00-5:00pm
September 27 | All-Day Retreat | 9:00am-4:00pm
October 4 | Session 1: | 8:30-11:30am
October 18 | Session 2: | 8:30-11:30am
November 1| Session 3: | 8:30-11:30am
November 15 | Session 4| 8:30-11:30am
December 6 | Session 5: | 8:30-11:30am
December 13 | Session 6: | 8:30-11:30am
January 10 | Session 7: | 8:30-11:30am
January 24 | Session 8: | 8:30-11:30am
February 7 | Session 9: | 8:30-11:30am
February 21 | Session 10: | 8:30-11:30am
March 7 | Session 11: | 8:30-11:30am
March 21 | Session 12: | 8:30-11:30am
April 4 | Session 13: | 8:30-11:30am
April 8 | Session 14: | 1:00-4:00pm
April 10 | Celebration of Leadership | 10am-noon

Locations will be provided closer to the start of the program. Locations vary each session throughout the Rockford area and are in-person.

Participants are expected to attend at least 80% of scheduled sessions and complete a group project to fulfill graduation requirements.


Tuition for this intensive eight-month program is $1,500 for Chamber members. Tuition covers all expenses for meetings and materials. The only additional fees assessed will be for optional social events. Non-Chamber member tuition is $2,000 and subject to availability.

Have Questions?
Contact Carmen


~Jess Bruns, Woodward Inc., Class of 2022

In addition to learning a lot about the opportunities in the community to get engaged and make a positive impact, it was energizing for me to be around a group of such positive people!”

~ Eric Magnuson, US Bank, Class of 2018

Leadership Rockford gave me a host of valuable experiences, knowledge of the Rockford community, opportunities to meet Rockford leaders, and the platform to learn about and help local non-profit organizations. I graduated with 43 people and the relationships that were formed were for me the best part of the program because they have lasted beyond the program. I highly recommend it.

~ Xavier Whitford, City of Rockford, Class of 2018

Leadership Rockford offered a comprehensive look into what Rockford has to offer on a multitude of levels including people, places, businesses, accomplishments, and challenges. This program offered a well-balanced combination of local experts, meetings, networking opportunities, and peers who have a desire to be better leaders for our growing region. I walked away with a great understand and deeper love for the City I work for and call home. I highly recommend this program for anyone who wants to dig deeper into the workings of our City and increase their relationships and commitment to Rockford.

~ Ryan Duvall, OSF HealthCare, Class of 2018

Leadership Rockford did an excellent job on educating me on some of what Rockford has to offer. I was able to get an inside look at several local businesses and what they do. We tend to hear much of the negative about our community, when there is quite a bit to be proud of. Leadership Rockford opened my eyes to this. I am grateful to have been a part of it.

~Jennifer Johns, Mercyhealth, Class of 2018

Over the past nine months, I have embarked on the Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Rockford experience. The program is designed to provide a holistic understanding of the Rockford community. My experience included exclusive introductions to the people that make up the very core of the Rockford region. I got a glimpse behind-the-scenes of several local organizations and built several relationships with other business and community leaders that will serve me well into the future. As a leader who is new to the community, Leadership Rockford provided me with an in-depth understanding of the local community, including its history, opportunities and successes. Mercyhealth invested in me and this program, and for that - I’m very grateful for the experience.

~Lakithia Williams, UTC Aerospace Systems, Class of 2018

As a transplant to the Rockford Area, the Leadership Rockford program showcased endless opportunities that I had no idea about! I was absolutely astounded at the phenomenal programs that were in place or being created for the greater good of the people. To see the passion of the individuals that led these initiatives was refreshing and inspiring. In addition to the abundance of knowledge gained, I created a new network system. This has allowed me to work with a handful of my classmates outside of the program due to common interest. I would recommend this program to anyone who is passionate about change and/or wants to learn more about their community! A special thanks to the Rockford Chamber of Commerce for hosting such a well-rounded program!