Community Leadership Conference

Creating a culture of strong, action-oriented leadership inspires positive change in communities. Each year, the Community Leadership Conference brings those individuals at the forefront of developing that culture in their communities together to share best practices and learn about recent trends and innovations that they can take back to their communities and organizations to re-energize leadership programs.

Community Leadership Conference 2019

Feb. 28 – Mar. 1, 2019
UGA Center for Continuing Education and Hotel, Athens, Georgia

Click here for a list of conference workshops and presenters

Click here for the conference schedule


Click here to register for the 2019 Community Leadership Conference

A limited number of partial scholarships to attend the conference are available. To apply for a partial scholarship, email

Hotel Information

Conference registrants can make hotel reservations at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel, where the conference has a designated room block. The room block expires on February 12, 2019.

University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel
1197 S. Lumpkin Street
Athens, GA 30602

Hotel website »

Pre-Conference Sessions

The Fanning Institute will once again host two pre-conference sessions on Feb. 27 – 28, 2019. Both sessions will run from 1 – 5 p.m. on Feb. 27 and 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Feb. 28. Attendees may only register for one pre-conference session.

Click here to register for a pre-conference session

Session #1: Youth Leadership in Action Facilitator and Curriculum Training

Kick off the Community Leadership Conference by becoming certified to facilitate the Fanning Institute’s Youth Leadership in Action Curriculum. This research-based curriculum concentrates on youth development and youth leadership with objectives to build individual leadership skills, foster positive group dynamics, and increase civic and community involvement. The facilitator and curriculum training is an interactive experience designed to familiarize adult facilitators with principles of youth development while learning how to facilitate the eight YLIA modules. Upon completion of the eight-hour training, adult volunteers will be certified to facilitate the curriculum and own the license to use the curriculum for their youth leadership program.

Cost: $350

Session #2: Initiating and Sustaining Strong Community Leadership Programs

This session is designed to aid both first-time program coordinators and seasoned veterans in their efforts to develop and maintain strong adult community leadership programs. Professionals new to the field may benefit from discussions and presentations focused on literature and practitioner-based “best practices,” while established individuals may be in search of new trends and activities that can be used to breathe new life into their programs.

Through this particular pre-conference session, participants will be exposed to a variety of community leadership program topics.

  • Networking, the opportunity to learn from others who plan, coordinate and implement community leadership development programs;
  • Recipes for Success: Structuring your program, Methods that Work: Audience, Recruitment and Adult Learning Theory / Methods;
  • Logistics and Administration;
  • Impact and Evaluation;
  • Program Viability and Sustainability; and
  • Setting Programmatic Goals for the short, medium, and long term.

Cost: $100

Innovations in Community Leadership Award

Innovations in Community Leadership Award for 2018- Middle Georgia Regional Commission and its Middle Georgia Regional Leadership Champions program. Pictured: Matt Bishop, Director, J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development; Roy Reeves,2017 ICLA year winner and Advisory Board member, J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development; Louise Hill, Senior Public Service Associate, J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development; Greg Boike, Director of Public Administration at the Middle Georgia Regional Commission; Laura Mathis, Executive Director, Middle Georgia Regional Commission; and Jimmy Allgood, Chair, Advisory Board, J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development

In 2017, the Fanning Institute established the Innovations in Community Leadership Award to recognize individuals or programs who have moved beyond traditional community leadership programming through innovative practices, partnerships, and activities that better serve participants and their communities. When selecting the award recipient, several criteria, including need, creativity, implementation, and impact, are taken into account. Granting this award showcases these innovations and the dedicated leaders who strive to make their communities stronger.

Each year, the Fanning Institute presents the Innovations in Community Leadership Award during the Community Leadership Conference.

Previous Innovations in Community Leadership Award Winners

2018 – Middle Georgia Regional Commission/Middle Georgia Regional Leadership Champions program

2017 – Roy Reeves