About the Program

Leadership Accelerator, the region’s premier leadership development program, is designed to engage, empower, and develop the next generation of leaders in Michigan’s Great Southwest. During this intensive seven-month curriculum, a diverse cohort of current and emerging leaders undergo a transformational learning experience and gain access to the skills, knowledge, and networks necessary to excel in their roles, lead their organizations, and make a lasting impact on our community.

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What You Will Learn

The curriculum consists of thirteen dynamic half-day sessions, scheduled twice a month on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Program sessions are taught by a diverse group of local leaders and are held at LMC’s Benton Harbor Campus, 2755 E. Napier Ave., Benton Harbor. Each session zeroes in on a distinct leadership competency, shaping a holistic perspective on effective leadership.

A glimpse of the topics covered over the course of the program includes:

  • Clifton-Strengths Leadership Assessment
  • Collaborative Decision Making
  • Critical Thinking Capabilities
  • Crucial Conversations
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Importance of Inclusion
  • Politics and Leadership
  • Team Building and Development
  • Community Awareness & Engagement

Additionally, one full-day session will take place at our state’s capital, Lansing. This unique opportunity opens doors for participants to engage with legislators, lobbyists, and other influential figures. This is an experience you won’t want to miss.


Who Should Apply

Are you ready to take the reins of leadership and make a lasting impact? Our program is tailor-made for:

  • Emerging Leaders: If you’re on the cusp of leadership or looking to step up, this program will equip you with the tools to excel and lead with confidence.
  • Established Professionals: Seasoned leaders seeking to refine their skills, expand their networks, and drive change will find this program a catalyst for their continued success.
  • Community Advocates: If you’re passionate about creating positive change in our community, our program will empower you with the skills and knowledge to make a meaningful difference.
  • Forward Thinkers: Visionaries who understand the power of effective leadership in shaping a better future will find a platform to hone their abilities and drive transformation.

No matter your background, industry, experience, or aspirations, if you’re ready to embrace the challenge of leadership, this program is your gateway. Apply now and become a driving force for positive change.


How to Apply

Applying is easy and free. A maximum of 30 participants will be selected through this competitive process. Program partners will consider a multitude of factors when reviewing candidates, including but not limited to: current and future leadership potential, community interest and involvement, commitment to program attendance, and cohort diversity. There is no cost to apply.



Tuition for Leadership Accelerator is $1,500 per participant, due at the outset of the program. The participant’s employer or sponsoring organization generally covers the cost of the program. Limited financial assistance scholarships are available. To be considered for financial assistance, please contact us. Participants who miss more than two of the sessions must withdraw from the program with no portion of the tuition refunded.


Program Partners

The program is run in partnership between the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce and Lake Michigan College, organizations that inherently understand that prosperity for our community is dependent on visionary and skilled leaders who are well-equipped to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. Together, with support from the Leadership Advisory Council, they work to deliver holistic leadership programming focused on personal evolution, professional development, and community engagement.

Leadership Advisory Council

Since the beginning of the program, local leaders have been engaged in designing the curriculum, delivery of sessions, nominating and sponsoring emerging leaders, participating as guest speakers and panelists, and donating to the program to make it attainable for leaders across all sectors. Much of this work takes place in the form of the Leadership Advisory Council. Members of the Leadership Advisory Council are committed to the mission of developing new leaders in our community, are personal and professional champions of the principles highlighted throughout the program’s curriculum, and work to provide strategic guidance to LMC and SMRC as they deliver the program to the community.

Anna Murphy
United Way of SW MI
Matt Davis
Wightman and Associates
John Proos
Strategic Leadership Council
Peter Colovos
Prairie Real Estate Group
Kim Kavala
Whirlpool Corporation
Sandi Plank
Corewell Health
Scott McFarland
Honor Credit Union
Theresa Uhrich
Region IV Area Agency on Aging

Ready to accelerate your career?

Join the next generation of area leaders and make a lasting impact on our community.

Apply Today

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