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Application season starts for Leadership Las Vegas

Imagine assisting with a nighttime count of the homeless population. One month, you might take a tour of a local jail. The next, you could see the inner workings of a major casino.

If you’ve ever wanted to have these experiences while picking up qualities that can help make your community a more interesting and dynamic place to live, you’re in luck.

Leadership Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce’s 10-month executive development program, is accepting applications. The once-a-month, daylong meetings, open to 48 to 50 participants, offer a backstage pass to community businesses and organizations that most people wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.

Throughout its duration, the program focuses on multiple aspects of the community: history, education, criminal justice, business, industry, gaming and hospitality, health care and social safety. Attendance to all sessions, including a two-night retreat at the beginning, is mandatory.

Flo Rogers, president and general manager of KNPR, is the Leadership Council chairwoman. The council oversees Leadership Las Vegas much as a board of directors would, to maintain its integrity and continuity.

“One of the absolute strengths of the leadership program is you get to experience all the different areas of the community. This is not a branding exercise for the chamber of commerce,” Rogers said.

If interested, applications are available at www.lvchamber.com/leadership-las-vegas, and are due by 4 p.m. May 15.

Tuition costs $2,750 for chamber members or $3,500 for nonmembers. Scholarships may be available in certain cases, and information will be given to interested parties after their applications are received.

This is the program’s 28th year.

“The Metro Chamber is really proud of the enduring legacy of the Leadership Las Vegas program,” said Cara Clarke, chamber spokeswoman.

Candidates are selected not just based on experience and accomplishments, but on the diversity and perspectives they bring. Any adult in Southern Nevada may apply. Clarke noted, though, that already showing commitment to the community is a plus for potential participants, as is some career success, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a high-level executive.

“Other types of life experiences can be seen as bringing a different perspective to the table,” Clarke said.

Each class consists of people from different backgrounds and age brackets. Clarke said her 2007 class had ages 21, 65 and every one in between. Past participants come from multiple industries, and include elected officials, as well as people from private, public and nonprofit sectors. The key unifier, Clarke said, is they’re dedicated to improving life in Southern Nevada.

“The impact it’s had in really developing leaders and really taking our community leaders to the next level, that’s the true legacy of the program,” Clarke said. “What Leadership does is take people who have already demonstrated community engagement and leadership to the next level so they can be true agents of change in our community.”

Rogers added: “If you’re the kind of person who is successful in your field here and you find yourself saying ‘I can do more for this community,’ … this is a program that will give you the sort of background knowledge to understand where you might fit in expressing that sentiment.”

For more information contact Lisa Gough, lgough@lvchamber.com or 702-586-3841.

Contact reporter Laura Carroll at lcarroll@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.

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