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Center for Community Leadership

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Community Leadership programs equip talented professionals with intensive training, active networks, and meaningful resources to shape their careers, innovate within their companies, and engage in community change. The CCL programs explore and reveal the individual and collective talents of individuals from business, not-for-profit, and public service sectors.


In 1982, City Manager Steve Bernard proposed the Leadership Grand Rapids (LGR) program to the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, and in response, the Chamber appointed a steering committee. The program was officially established in 1984, and the inaugural Leadership Grand Rapids class graduated from the program in 1986.

Inside Grand Rapids, a 2 ½ day orientation program, was introduced in 1996. Since then, IGR has introduced new leaders to the community and helped others already living here better understand the role they and their organizations could play in shaping our community's future.

In October of 2007, the Download GR program was launched to serve young professionals in their early to late twenties. The purpose of this program was to connect high-potential hires new to the area with others like themselves and the community as they start their professional careers. This program was transformed into our Emerging Leaders Series in 2010 which is five half-day sessions.

In early 2008, a skills-based leadership program, Leadership Advantage, was launched to provide a "graduate level" program to further develop the critical thinking skills of emerging and established leaders.

Both current and future Chamber members are invited to attend the many leadership and community events and programs offered throughout the year.

Volunteer Opportunities

Each year, over 100 alumni engage in the Center for Community Leadership by serving on one of CCL's 20 committees. Click here to learn more.

Please contact Hannah Nequist at 616.771.0334 to volunteer.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact:

Kim McLaughlin
Director of Inclusion & Community Leadership

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