The Chamber Foundation is mobilizing the business community to be more engaged partners, challenge the status quo, and promote education and workforce initiatives that will fuel economic success and sustainability. Through this work, we have cultivated a network of education and workforce champions across the country to equip state and local chambers and associations with the information, resources, and tools necessary to implement change in their communities.
Graduates of the Business Leads Fellowship Program join that exclusive network.
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. Participants must attend, and complete in full, all workshop sessions to receive their Business Leads Fellowship certificate.
- 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, which include plenary sessions as well as discussion-based breakout sessions, 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. Breakout sessions are designed to provide grounding on the issues as well as practical tools that you can use to advance policies and programs in your communities.
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.
To be considered for the Business Leads Fellowship Program, applicants should:
- Currently work at a state or local chamber or statewide association.
- Currently engage in or desire to engage in education and/or workforce issues in your community.
- Be able to attend all sessions of both cohort meetings.
Fellowship Program Cohorts
- Cohort #1 graduated in January 2019
- Cohort #2 will conclude in July 2019
- Cohort #3 will conclude in September 2019
Cohort #1 Fellows
September 2018 in New Orleans, LA
January 2019 in Phoenix, AZ
- Andrea Anderson, Ardmore Chamber of Commerce/Development Authority, Ardmore, OK
- Jason Bearce, Indiana Chamber, Indianapolis, IN
- Jessica Belitz, Blount Partnership, Maryville, TN
- Wendy Block, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Lansing, MI
- Melissa Bordelon, Greater Hammond Chamber, Hammond, LA
- Bailey Bowthorpe, Salt Lake Chamber, Salt Lake City, UT
- Steve Clark, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, Fayetteville, AR
- Barbara Den Herder, Sioux Center Chamber of Commerce, Sioux Center, IA
- Angela Dixon, Capital Region Chamber, Albany, NY
- Diane Dobson, Renton Chamber of Commerce, Renton, WA
- Tiffany Esposito, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Bonita Springs, FL
- Pam Farris, Leadership West Virginia, Charleston, WV
- Ryan Flynn, Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE), Boston, MA
- Ben Gilman, Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Augusta, ME
- Wade Goodsell, WMC Foundation (Wisconsin’s Chamber Foundation), Madison, WI
- Joe Henning, Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, Aurora, IL
- Karmen Gifford, Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, Laconia, NH
- Gary Laird, Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce, Hanover, PA
- Kelly McCandless, Billings Chamber of Commerce, Billings, MT
- Ben Melson, The Greater Houston Partnership, Houston, TX
- Kris Noble, Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, Sterling, IL
- John Nyhan, Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce, Hampton, NH
- Erin Olson, RealTime Talent (Under the MN Chamber Foundation’s Center for Workforce Solutions), St. Paul, MN
- Rick Pearce, The Chamber of Commerce Serving Middletown\Monroe\Trenton, Middletown, OH
- Andrea Reay, Seattle Southside Chamber, Tukwila, WA
- Pamela Riddler, Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce, Castle Rock, CO
- Marilyn Roach, The Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Buffalo, NY
- Carolyn Ryan, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Boston, MA
- Garrett Sheehan, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, New Haven, CT
- Shelley Short, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR
- Cally Smith, Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, Roanoke, VA
- Megan Wehmeir, Douglass-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce, Douglas, GA
- Josh Williams, Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center, Frankfort, KY
- April Wood, Garner Chamber of Commerce, Garner, NC
Cohort #2 Fellows
April 2019 in Chicago, IL
July 2019 in Denver, CO
• Ellen Albright, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance
• Marcy Angelo, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber
• Molly Blankenship, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
• Camille Conaway, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
• Steve Cox, Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce
• Shaun DuFault, New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce
• Carlos Fernandez, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce
• Rosanne Foust, San Mateo County Economic Development Association
• Anne Gill, Tempe Chamber of Commerce
• Mike Glavin, Greater Cleveland Partnership
• Adrian Hale, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
• Heather Hardinger, Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Taney County Partnership
• Julia Hindall, JAX Chamber
• Joseph Hurd, Blair County Chamber of Commerce
• Susan Koehn, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
• Alex LaBeau, Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry
• Norma Lansing, Effingham County Chamber of Commerce
• Avi Leshes, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
• Michael Mancuso, The Greater Smithfield Selma Area Chamber of Commerce
• Annette Medlin, Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce
• Christina Misali, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
• John Pagen, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce
• Elizabeth Paul, Birmingham Business Alliance
• Cassidy Peterson, Greater Spokane Inc.
• Heidi Peterson, Wyoming State Chamber of Commerce
• Jackson Pruett, The Shelby County Chamber
• Anna Ramos, Lancaster Chamber
• Sara Ray, Douglas County Chamber of Commerce
• Lori Renee, Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce
• David Sabathne, Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce
• Jessie Schook, Greater Louisville Inc.
• David Schroedel, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
• Joey Mak, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
• Sophie Torres, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Cohort #3 Fellows
May 2019 in San Francisco, CA
September 2019 in New Orleans, LA
Fellows for Cohort #3 have not yet been selected.