Inspire. Develop. Connect. Serve.

Leadership Springfield is the premier program for leadership development in the Ozarks, designed to inspire, develop and connect leaders to serve the Springfield community. In over 30 years of operating, we have graduated more than 2,000 community leaders who are motivated and inspired to make an impact.

Program Overview

As a member of the national Association of Leadership Programs, Leadership Springfield provides three distinct community leadership programs for the Springfield metro area: the Signature Class, the Leadership Springfield Academy Class and the Access Class. In addition to these three programs, we offer ongoing membership opportunities for alumni to continue putting their class experience into action, through alumni engagement opportunities and more. Explore our community leadership programs.

Leadership Springfield’s flagship program takes community leaders on a nine-month tour of the city’s blue ribbons and red flags, devoting time to better understanding our own strengths as leaders, identifying the city’s needs, resources and opportunities, recognizing the value of bonding and bridging social capital and making a long term impact both individually and collectively as community leaders.

Each year, high school juniors across Springfield’s public and private schools learn about leading with their strengths while gaining a deeper knowledge of what it takes to keep the city running. Modeled after the nine-month Signature Class, the Leadership Springfield Academy Class engages the future workforce of our community and allows students to become more engaged and informed citizens.

New transplants to the city can plug into the community immediately through the Access Class – a one time fast-paced, two day program offered quarterly. This delivery model allows local leaders to get up to speed on major industry, initiatives and contacts. The Access Class also allows longtime Springfieldians an opportunity to participate in a community leadership program and expand their professional network without the time commitment of the flagship program.

Alumni Testimonials

Emily LettermanEmily Letterman
The places you visit are eye-opening. The people you meet are inspiring. The lessons you learn are impactful. To say Leadership Springfield is a transformational program would be an understatement.
Emily Letterman
Signature Class 35
Steve Kelly_2Steve Kelly_2
The Leadership Springfield Access Class was an amazing two-day immersive experience. It was a deep dive into all things Springfield in a condensed, perfectly scheduled format. Everything from our visit with City officials, panel of healthcare leaders, tour of large employers, and insights from our educational institutions, this experience was game-changing for me. Having just relocated to Springfield for a career opportunity, this was a critical piece to my understanding of what really makes this community work. I'm grateful for this program and to Carrie and the staff for putting it together. I highly recommend it!
Steve Kelly
Access Class 2
Dr. Tom PraterDr. Tom Prater
In the years since my Leadership Springfield experience (Class 5) I have continued to maintain social, professional and business relationships with many of my classmates. Even as a Springfield native, the experience certainly opened my eyes to new opportunities in the community.
Dr. Tom Prater
Signature Class 5
David WellsDavid Wells
My time in Leadership Springfield was full of valuable experiences. I learned about the inner workings of my community and how to conduct myself in a professional atmosphere. I developed my leadership skills and found the strength to say, “Follow me”.
David Wells
Academy Class 29

Calendar of Events

Monday, January 13
4:00 pm
Neighbor's Mill - Sunshine
1301 E. Sunshine St.

Signature Class Application Launch + Scholarship Fundraiser

Thru Monday, January 13
Join us at Neighbor’s Mill Bakery & Cafe – Sunshine on Monday, January 13 as we launch the 2020-2021 #LeadSGF Signature Class applications! Are you interested in applying for the next Signature Class? LeadSGF staff will be present from 4-6pm to hand out application information and answer your questions about the Signature Class program. Are you a LeadSGF alum? Get your class together for dinner! 20% of the proceeds from 4-8pm will be donated to the Leadership Springfield Scholarship Fund! When you arrive, find the LeadSGF banner to check in. The winning class with the highest attendance will earn bragging rights!
Wednesday, January 15
5:30 pm
Downtown Springfield Association
134 Park Central Square

LeadSGF Focus Group for Center City Housing

Thru Wednesday, January 15
Are you an alumni under 35? Are you over 35 but looking to make housing decisions in the near future? Join the Downtown Springfield Association on Wednesday, January 15, at 5:30 pm for a Leadership Springfield focus group on center city housing. RSVP to Rusty Worley at to get more information.
Thursday, January 30
7:15 am
Hickory Hills Country Club
3909 E Cherry St

LeadSGF Past President Breakfast

Thru Thursday, January 30
Did you serve as a Leadership Springfield Board President? If so, you are invited to the LeadSGF Past President Breakfast on Thursday, January 30! This event is only for the current and past presidents of the Leadership Springfield Board of Directors. If you are interested in attending, please email to RSVP.
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Ready to learn more about our programs?

Signature Class applications are now open