A Publication of WTVP

Whether in childhood activities, professional accomplishments, or personal feats, the word “leadership” and the qualities associated with it are never far from the tongues of those around us. So, just what defines a good leader or a person who embodies the spirit of leadership? There are multiple definitions of leadership and equally as many opinions on what defines a good leader; the answer lies within each of us.

For the past 30 years, the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce has given hundreds of professionals the opportunity to find the leader within themselves through its leadership programming series, better known as Community Leadership School. From small business owners and medical professionals to political leaders and child advocates, the Community Leadership School has instilled the spirit of leadership and the spark of personal action and commitment in the hearts and minds of its graduates.

The theme of this year’s Community Leadership School is “Knowledge, Vision and Connections.” Participants in the program will be afforded the opportunity to learn about leadership from our city’s great leaders. Throughout the program’s 13 weeks, class members will interact with the community’s top leaders on critical issues such as crime, education, technology advancements, political activism, the arts, and impact of tourism on the local economy. In addition, class participants have the opportunity to apply their leadership skills by assisting a local non-profit agency in planning and executing a special event designed to further the agency’s mission. Participants also will network and interact with not only the city’s leaders of today, but also with their classmates, who, undoubtedly, are the leaders of tomorrow.

We all have the power to make a difference, which is arguably one of the greatest results of leadership. Community Leadership School is an opportunity to unleash the leader within each of us. Leadership is about harnessing your potential and directing it toward the betterment of others. Involvement in Community Leadership School is an opportunity to serve not only our Peoria community, but also to grow the leadership potential within yourself.

The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leadership School has a proven method of developing leaders who are ready and able to serve, producing outstanding results. Support Community Leadership School by applying today or encouraging a fellow co-worker to complete an application. Only 42 of the area’s top leaders will be selected for this prestigious course, so complete an application today. This year’s Community Leadership School takes place from 7 to 9 a.m., Fridays, January 13 through April 7. Applications are available at or by calling 495-5926. Application deadline is October 28. Class members will be selected by November 9, with an orientation scheduled for January 11.

In the words of former U.S. President John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Take the journey toward becoming a great leader, and along the way you’ll leave your indelible mark on the Peoria community. IBI