Equipping Salem’s Leaders for the Future


Salem is growing. More and more people are moving to Salem, new buildings are being constructed and businesses are expanding. As Salem continues to grow, it will take well-informed and competent leaders to manage that growth and lead Salem in the right direction, which is exactly why businesses, nonprofits and schools are looking to the Salem Chamber and the Inspire Foundation to prepare and equip the leaders of tomorrow.

Over the past 37 years, more than 900 individuals have received leadership training through the Leadership Salem program. The program equips leaders to be informed decision makers by providing exclusive, behind-the-scenes tours and by exposing them to community leaders to engage in conversations about the most pressing challenges facing our community. The program covers a broad range of topics including Salem history and culture, natural resources, law and politics, business and commerce, education, and community resources. The program is also designed to foster strong relationships among classmates.

Modeled after the Leadership Salem program, Leadership Youth was established in 1999 to provide the same opportunities to youth in our community. Leadership Youth is a two-year program for high school students. In their first year, students follow a similar schedule as the Leadership Salem program. In their second year, students put their leadership into practice by serving on the board of directors for a local nonprofit that aligns with their career area of interest.

Leadership Salem and Leadership Youth would not be possible without the generous contributions of our sponsors. Leadership Salem is sponsored by Willamette University, a center for education that cares deeply about developing the leadership potential of our community. Leadership Youth is sponsored by the Executive Leadership Council, a group of engaged and passionate Chamber members.

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