Contact GeorgiaLEADS:

For more information about GeorgiaLEADS, contact Matt Bishop at or (706) 542-1108.

About GeorgiaLEADS

Guided by the belief that leadership is key to economic success and that those communities that embrace leadership development gain an inherent competitive advantage, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the J. W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia have partnered to create GeorgiaLEADS. The program will ultimately ensure a continuum of leadership development opportunities at the youth, adult and regional levels throughout our state.

The Need

Businesses in Georgia and across the nation have identified key problems and gaps in today’s workforce, most notably, the need for better soft skills training, stronger communications training and more complete leadership training.

While effective leadership programs exist in certain areas of the state, there are many communities that offer limited or no opportunities for children, young adults or those in the workforce to acquire the skills needed for them to be successful contributors to our economy. As availability of a quality workforce is paramount to attracting jobs to any location, this deficit will without question continue to be a factor in corporate location or expansion decisions.

The Concept

GeorgiaLEADS will work with selected communities and regions throughout the state using a one to three year leadership planning and implementation process facilitated by experts from the Fanning Institute and in partnership with a committed group of existing community leaders, including local chambers of commerce.

A comprehensive needs assessment will determine what kinds of programs are needed in each particular community in order to ensure a continuum of opportunity for youth, college students, young professionals, emerging leaders, retirees and even established leaders looking to create broader community impact.

The initial goal is to pilot the GeorgiaLEADS program in 10 communities and two regions, starting in 2015. GeorgiaLEADS will open competitively to communities and regions across the state in 2016 and 2017, with a target of including an additional 10 communities and two regions each year. Ongoing implementation and evaluation of GeorgiaLEADS will continue in 2018-2019.


GeorgiaLEADS featured in Troup County

An August 2015 article in Troup Trends — a publication of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce — looks at how GeorgiaLEADS is working in that county.

To read the article, click here.

Survey: Community Leadership Inventory

Participants in GeorgiaLEADS communities are requested to complete a survey that captures existing community leadership opportunities.

Click here to access the Community Leadership Inventory survey