Leadership Cayuga is an engaging, hands-on community education program of the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce that gives a diverse group of aspiring and current leaders an experience like none other. The program is designed to give students an in-depth look into our community, raise awareness of local issues, develop leadership skills, and build strong networks of committed individuals; Leadership Cayuga is a valuable resource in our community.

Over the course of nine months from September through May, Leadership Cayuga participants are invited into the inner fabric of what makes our county and community tick. They are given the opportunity to meet with community leaders, learn hands-on with human service agencies, and get behind-the-scenes tours of local businesses and landmarks. All with the intent that when they see how things run and how hard people work in all industries to make this a great place to live and work, our participants can’t help but want to participate, too.

For thirty years, we’ve seen our almost 700 graduates from the program do amazing things like run for local offices, pioneer economic development projects, start businesses, be promoted to positions of leadership, lend their voice and experience to countless boards of directors guiding them into the future, and volunteering their time for causes they believe in. Our graduates have more than lived up to the accolade of being leaders in our community and their careers.

Participants in each year’s program come from all geographic areas of Cayuga County and represent business, industry, education, government and non-profit organizations, as well as citizens from the community at large.

Each of the nine monthly sessions goes into detail about a particular aspect of our community. Session topics include Economic Development, History, Government, Board Service/Non-Profits, Human Services, Health and Wellness, Emotional Intelligence and so much more! In addition to that, as a member of the class, you have exclusive access to a number of sites throughout the community, as well as an exciting countywide bus tour.

We will be making some adjustments to this year’s program in accordance with health and safety standards due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We want to keep class participants, staff, and the community safe, so participants will be seated six feet apart during in-person sessions.  Face masks will be worn as required by state law, and the bus tour will be held later in the program year when we are hopeful we will be able to travel together.

It’s not just the invaluable lessons and special tours that make each class the #BestClassEver; it is the comradery and lasting friendships that solidify the experience.

I would love for YOU to be able to experience this, too. We are currently looking for high school seniors and adults new to the area, new to their position or interested in becoming a community leader to apply for this year’s class.

Leadership Cayuga is for you if…

  • You have a strong interest in and commitment to your community;
  • You are committed to your personal leadership development;
  • You anticipate an active role in business and community activities;
  • You wish to gain access to a network of business, government, and community leaders and resources
  • You believe change can be anticipated, managed and directed for the betterment of Cayuga County.

Applications for the Leadership Cayuga Class of 2021 are now being accepted online and by mail. Leadership Cayuga includes one session day per month, starting in September and ending in May, plus additional optional tours and networking opportunities. The cost is $1100 for Chamber Members and $1200 for non-Chamber members. There is also a $100 discount if the application is received by August 15th! A limited number of partial scholarships are available. For more information, please contact Jessica Wrench at 315.252.7291 or jwrench@cayugacountychamber.com. Applications are available at www.leadershipcayuga.com.

Jessica Wrench is the Education and Resource Coordinator of the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit cayugacountychamber.com or call (315) 252-7291.
Published in the July 2, 2020, edition of The Citizen.