A business leader has an opportunity to be a community leader. A community leader has the ability to transform into a community trustee. A community trustee, coined by the Grand Rapids Chamber Leadership Grand Rapids (LGR) program, is someone who passionately works to create great community for all, through their decisions, actions and influence. They embrace the ideals of pluralism, diversity, advocacy and the responsibility of social capital while remaining committed to continuously learn, connect and lead.
Since its inception in 1986 Leadership Grand Rapids has cultivated over 1,000 community trustees that have brought together cross-sector leaders from diverse communities, industries and viewpoints in order to build strong relationships. This 10-month program is extremely powerful, as it tackles relevant, provocative and often divergent content in order to carve tangible pathways to change. While engaging in the intricacies of LGR, participants quickly bond and soon become lifelong connections and friends.
Grand Rapids Chamber Director of Leadership Programs Mel Trombley reflects on leading LGR, “The curation of each class is where the magic lies within the program. Bringing together leaders that are different yet unified in a common goal to make our community better is an experience unlike any other. LGR, at times, is extremely difficult to work through as your tackle different perspectives and complex content. Throughout each cohort, you witness unexpected friendships blossom and connections that will impact our community for years to come.”
Day Sessions of LGR include hearing from local and national subject matter experts; powerful and engaging experiences; facilitated discussion; and a united space of trust, safety, innovation, disagreement and learning.
Dr. Rhae-Ann Booker, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at Metro Health, University of Michigan Health, shares her experience as a Leadership Grand Rapids participant, “As a native Grand Rapidian working in health care, I found LGR to be valuable. Although our community steadily evolves, it’s easy to get stuck on how you experienced the community years ago and to miss all the growth and changes around you. I appreciated and benefitted from the opportunity to learn lots of new things about my home community, especially alongside a diverse group of leaders who represented different community sectors, and feel even more empowered and networked to make a positive impact in my organization and throughout the broader community. This experience was life-changing and priceless.”
Are you interested in being a part of the next cohort of community trustees? Applications for LGR are now open. The Grand Rapids Chamber Create Great Leaders Council will select a class of 38 people from an average of over 100 applications. The chamber is committed to the cultivation of a cohort that is representative of our community in all aspects.
2022 Session dates, program details and cost
Orientation: Aug. 19
Opening retreat: Sept. 17. 18 (Overnight accommodations are made for all participants)
Jan. 20, 2022
Feb. 17, 2022
March 17, 2022
April 21, 2022
Closing retreat: 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. May 20, 2022
Cost and scholarships
Applications: Complimentary application fee through April 1
Grand Rapids Chamber member: $3,100
There are a limited number of partial scholarship funds available. If you wish to fill out a scholarship form, you will be prompted to do so at the end of your application.