Over the years, we have cultivated a network of education and workforce champions across the country through signature programming to equip state and local chambers and associations with the information, resources, and tools necessary to implement change in their communities along the education and workforce continuum.

The Business Leads Fellowship Program formalizes that work. 
The structure of the program includes two separate, three-day intensive workshops that focus on the history, policy, and programming on topics spanning the education pipeline. The first workshop focuses Fellow's attention on early and K-12 education as well as college and career readiness. The second workshop completes the talent pipeline with coverage of postsecondary education and a wide range of workforce development topics. The workshops are taught by expert faculty as well as staff from state and local chambers who have put policy into practice to bring change and opportunity to their communities. 

Requirements for Participation

Participants in the Business Leads Fellowship Program:

  • Are currently working at a state or local chamber or statewide association.
  • Are currently engaged in or desire to engage in education and/or workforce issues in your community.

The Chamber Foundation is eager to work with these dedicated participants and see what happens as Fellows return to their communities and apply the learnings from this Fellowship Program experience in meaningful ways.

If you are interested in this program, please contact education@uschamber.com for more information about future cohorts. 


Upcoming Workshops

Center for Education and Workforce
Phoenix, AZ
United States
The 2nd workshop of the 2018-2019 Fellowship Program class will take place in Phoenix, AZ.

2018-2019 Roster of Fellows

  • Andrea Anderson, Director of Marketing & Industry Relations, Ardmore Chamber of Commerce/Development Authority, Ardmore, OK
  • Jason Bearce, Vice President Education and Workforce Policy, Indiana Chamber, Indianapolis, IN
  • Jessica Belitz, Director of Partnership Programs & Events, Blount Partnership, Maryville, TN
  • Wendy Block, Vice President Business Advocacy, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Lansing, MI
  • Melissa Bordelon, President and CEO, Greater Hammond Chamber, Hammond, LA
  • Bailey Bowthorpe, Policy Communication & Program Coordinator, Salt Lake Chamber, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Steve Clark, President and CEO, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, Fayetteville, AR
  • Barbara Den Herder, Executive Director, Sioux Center Chamber of Commerce, Sioux Center, IA
  • Angela Dixon, Vice President Talent and Inclusion, Capital Region Chamber, Albany, NY
  • Diane Dobson, Interim CEO, Renton Chamber of Commerce, Renton, WA
  • Tiffany Esposito, President and CEO, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Bonita Springs, FL
  • Pam Farris, Executive Director, Leadership West Virginia, Charleston, WV
  • Ryan Flynn, Director Affiliate Network Growth and Strategy, Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE), Boston, MA
  • Ben Gilman, General Counsel and Senior Government Relations Specialist, Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Augusta, ME
  • Wade Goodsell, Executive Director, WMC Foundation (Wisconsin’s Chamber Foundation), Madison, WI
  • Joe Henning, President and CEO, Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, Aurora, IL
  • Karmen Gifford, President, Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, Laconia, NH
  • Gary Laird, President, Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce, Hanover, PA
  • Kelly McCandless, Communication and Strategic Priorities Manager, Billings Chamber of Commerce, Billings, MT
  • Ben Melson, Manager of Education Policy, The Greater Houston Partnership, Houston, TX 
  • Kris Noble, Executive Director, Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, Sterling, IL
  • John Nyhan, President, Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce, Hampton, NH
  • Erin Olson, Research Strategist, RealTime Talent (Under the MN Chamber Foundation’s Center for Workforce Solutions), St. Paul, MN
  • Rick Pearce, President and CEO, The Chamber of Commerce Serving Middletown\Monroe\Trenton, Middletown, OH
  • Andrea Reay, President and CEO, Seattle Southside Chamber, Tukwila, WA
  • Pamela Riddler, President and CEO, Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce, Castle Rock, CO
  • Marilyn Roach, Director Business Development - Employ Buffalo Niagara, The Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Buffalo, NY
  • Carolyn Ryan, Senior Vice President Policy and Research, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Boston, MA
  • Garrett Sheehan, President and CEO, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, New Haven, CT
  • Shelley Short, Vice President Programs and Partnerships, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR
  • Cally Smith, Vice President of Membership and Brand Strategy, Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, Roanoke, VA
  • Megan Wehmeir, Director of Leadership and Workforce Development, Douglass-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce, Douglas, GA
  • Josh Williams, Talent Pipeline Project Manager, Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center, Frankfort, KY
  • April Wood, Director of Membership Services and Developmen, Garner Chamber of Commerce, Garner, NC