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Leadership Grand Traverse

Connect with your community and other future leaders.

Leadership Grand Traverse (LGT) is a community-based program that prepares participants for decision-making leadership roles in areas such as policy, program implementation, and development. The program provides unique access and exposure to many of the major assets and leaders across our region, including natural resources, parks and recreation, community and economic development, health and human services, transportation, and agriculture.

Offered once each year, LGT invites participants to connect with our community and each other. Alumni of this over thirty-year long program are evident throughout all sectors of the Grand Traverse region. Interested participants should come prepared to learn, challenge their assumptions, make new friends and – hopefully – see the world through a slightly different lens.

Participants from all sectors and backgrounds are welcome in this program, though it is designed with an eye towards professionals who are looking for growth and are committed to helping build our regional community. This program requires a non-negotiable commitment to participation and engagement in the entire process, to ensure that LGT graduates share common understanding, polish, and readiness for their future leadership roles.

Wendy Nienhouse

Agevix Professional Development

I loved the Leadership Grand Traverse experience! Leadership is fascinating and more effective when we understand where we individually fit into it. Beyond the class description, the unexpected benefits make participants stronger leaders and collaborators.

Allison Roberts

Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos

During my time in LGT, I learned a lot about the community, other leadership styles, and my own leadership style. I had just moved to the area a few months prior to starting the program and I am very fortunate to have been a part of such a unique group. The program allowed me to grow as a leader, make like long friends and connections, and dive into the TC community.

Leadership Grand Traverse Sponsors

Scholarship Sponsor

Tuition, Scholarships & Eligibility

Tuition for Leadership Grand Traverse 2020/21 is $2,000 in full. The tuition fee is payable at the time of acceptance to the program. All expenses will be covered by the tuition. Participants might consider requesting their employer cover full tuition. Your company must be an investor (member) of Traverse Connect to apply for Leadership Grand Traverse, unless you are applying for a Creative Coast Scholarship. Applicants who work within a creative profession may apply for a Creative Coast Scholarship.

About the Creative Coast Scholarship

Traverse Connect recognizes that there are barriers to entry to Leadership Grand Traverse for creative professionals. The fee of $2,000 is typically footed by the participants’ employer. However, many creative professionals who work freelance or on a very small team cannot afford to pay this participation fee out-of-pocket. Traverse Connect wishes to break down this barrier and provide a means of entry for creative professionals to Leadership Grand Traverse.

With generous support and funding from the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation we are pleased to offer up to five scholarships for creative professionals to participate in Leadership Grand Traverse 2020/21 cohort. The scholarships will cover 90% (a value of $1,800) of the tuition fees. The remaining $200 must be covered by the participant.

Eligibility for a Creative Coast Scholarship

In order to qualify for the Creative Coast Scholarship, you must be an individual working directly in one of the Creative Sectors as outlined here. You do not need to be an investor (member) at Traverse Connect to apply for a Creative Coast Scholarship. However, it is expected that you will become an Investor at Traverse Connect upon receipt of your scholarship. An Executive-Level investor membership offer will be extended to you at a 75% discounted rate.

How to Apply for a Creative Coast Scholarship

It’s easy! Just submit a regular application for Leadership Grand Traverse by Friday, July 10, 2020 at 12:00 pm EST. When the application asks you how you’d like to pay for tuition please select “I’d like to apply for a Creative Coast Scholarship”.

If you have questions about the Creative Coast Scholarship program please contact Camille Hoisington.

Leadership Grand Traverse Sessions

Leadership Grand Traverse conducts full ‘session days’ from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, with lunch from 12:30 - 1:30 pm. There is a total of thirteen sessions, over the course of fourteen full days, which will take place starting August 21 2020 through March 18 2021. See below for the full schedule. We are closely monitoring the continuing pandemic due to COVID-19. We are committed to taking every precaution to keep you safe and healthy throughout Leadership Grand Traverse. All indoor sessions will be hosted in spaces where participants can be spaced 6-feet of distance apart from one another. Masks will be required for all indoor activities and sessions. We are prepared with a 'Plan B' to offer the sessions in a remote and virtual session should we need to adapt.

2020-2021 Program Dates

Attendance at all program sessions is mandatory to achieve the full value of the program. Persons who cannot adjust their schedules to accommodate full participation should not apply to the program. This includes, but is not limited to, vacations, work trips, meetings, and having to leave the session early/arrive late. Persons who are not able to complete a session will be disqualified from the program and unable to move forward.

If selected, participants’ employer will be required to provide a signature agreeing to their full support for the employee’s time required to participate in Leadership Grand Traverse.

During orientation, you will meet your peers, and the two facilitators who will be with you throughout your eight-month journey. You will also get a course overview with rules and expectations, and time to ask any and all questions you may have.

Time: 3:30 pm – 5 pm

Enjoy a 2-day (1-night) retreat at Shanty Creek Resort while learning more about your leadership style, and getting to know your peers on a deeper level.

Overnight Trip:

Thursday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Friday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Accommodation in private rooms will be arranged and provided for by Traverse Connect.

Gain practical learning and tools to understand inclusive leadership, disrupting your unconscious bias, and how to be an ally. This session is the first full content session in the Leadership Grand Traverse series for a reason – we believe all the work we do should operate under a lens of inclusive excellence.

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

To better understand the large annual events in northern Michigan and the economic impact it has on our community. This day is also to explore the different transportation systems around Grand Traverse County.

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

To gain a better understanding of the diverse natural resources in the Grand Traverse region and how important they are to our quality of life.  To learn what we can do to reduce our impact on the environment.  To learn how to get involved in improving and protecting our area’s natural resources. 

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

To better understand the role that Health and Human Service Agencies play in the community and to begin to assess how the participant might become involved. 

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

To gain a better understanding of how local and state government works, the impact that they have on our region, and how the decisions they make on budgets, ordinances, and legislation directly related to economic development. This day will also focus on how to discuss ‘hard topics’ such as politics with people who have a different viewpoint. 

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

To better understand the diversity of our local economy, the approval processes for proposed expansion and development projects, and the connectivity of economic development to government and workforce development.

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Gain a better understanding of the arts and culture that surround the Grand Traverse Region and the impact that the creative economy has on our community. Learn about different ways to get involved to continue the growth of arts & culture in our region for generations to come.

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Openly learn from a variety of lenses about public safety, law enforcement, and judicial systems in our community. Learn how we can impact systems for criminal justice and how we can use productive conflict leadership skills to foster growth and solutions. This day may include police ride-alongs

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Learn more about the different school entities that make up our Grand Traverse Region, including, but not limited to: Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, Traverse City Public Schools, Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools, and early childhood education.

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Reflect back on your LGT learnings throughout the LGT program on how to be a good community leader. Understand how to actively participate in a leadership position such as the intricacies and nomenclature that come with joining a board. Practice public speaking, and best practices for presenting yourself well in a public or leadership setting.

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Enjoy the last day of class reflecting on everything you have learned over the course of the eight months, and develop a plan to push forward with your new-found passion. End the day with a formal graduation and cocktail hour including your family, friends, and co-workers to celebrate your success with you!

Time: 11:00 AM – 7 pm

  • 11:00 am – 5 pm: Class reflection and action plans
  • 5 pm – 7 pm: Graduation Celebration with family, friends, and co-workers