Leadership Arkansas 

Leadership ArkansasLeadership Arkansas is a program designed to take a statewide view of the economic and political challenges that face our great state.  Leadership Arkansas offers leadership opportunities that expand the impact of community leaders across the state. Created by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas, Inc., Leadership Arkansas builds a sense of statewide community by identifying and training individuals with the passion and commitment to become personally engaged in issues, programs and activities aimed at building a better Arkansas.

The individual contribution of Arkansas leaders is multiplied by their collective strength and enhanced by the distinct and diverse nature of the regions of Arkansas in which they reside.  The members of Leadership Arkansas are dedicated not only to their local communities, but to their statewide community. Leadership Arkansas is a unique program designed to promote statewide leadership. 

Leadership Arkansas is based on the belief that individuals can expand their leadership capacities to make a difference in the state of Arkansas. Leadership Arkansas alumni and class members learn, grow and change as they go through the nine-month program, which allows them to see firsthand the challenges and accomplishments of our local communities. 

The success of Leadership Arkansas to date has led to alumni members deciding to change the landscape of our state and their local communities by becoming state legislators, city councilmen, planning commissioners, etc. 

Leadership Arkansas has been fortunate to have the support of the Arkansas General Assembly with the former Speaker of the House serving as class chairman and members of the General Assembly participating in the class.

Leadership Arkansas sessions include:

  • annual educational, issues-oriented, nine-month class program
  • seven day-and-a-half sessions held in various communities throughout the state
  • Arkansas leaders who represent a wide geographic base and who have diverse backgrounds and vocations
  • exposure to the many social and environmental complexities of the state
  • on-site demonstrations and tours
  • diverse geographical and cultural experiences
  • insight into the people, places and history which influence public policies
  • fun and casual settings which foster new relationships and camaraderie

Leadership Arkansas now has more than 300 alumni with a program goal of one participant from each of the 75 counties within five years.

Applications Now Being Accepted for Leadership Arkansas Class IX

Applications are now being accepted for Leadership Arkansas Class IX, which is presented by ARcare.

If you are interested in applying for Leadership Arkansas Class IX, click here to access an application.

Applications must be completed and postmarked by Friday, Augst 8, 2014. They should be typed or computer generated. Applicants will be notified of the Selection Committe's decision no later than August 30, 2014.


Participants are required to attend at least 80 percent of the program sessions, including the entire opening session, which is mandatory. The 2014-2015 program year is tentatively scheduled as follows:

Class IX Retreat SessionSession I Tourism – October 5-7, 2014

Lake Dardanelle, Russellville, Arkansas (MANDATORY ATTENDANCE)

Session II – Arkansas State Chamber/AIA Annual Meeting/Mock Legislative Session, November 12-13, 2014

Session III – Manufacturing/Workforce, December 11-12, 2014, Batesville

Session IV – South Arkansas Economy, January 15-16, 2015, Texarkana

Session V – Northwest Arkansas Economy/Education, March 19-20, 2015, Rogers

Session VI –Northeast Arkansas Economy/Agriculture, May 13-15, 2015, West Memphis/Blytheville

Session VII – Military/Central Arkansas Economy/Leadership Arkansas Class IX Graduation June 18-19, 2015

For more information on Leadership Arkansas Class IX, contact Susie Marks at 501-210-4206 or smarks@arkansasstatechamber.com.

Leadership Arkansas Class VIII Schedule

Leadership Arkansas Class VIII will hold its final session later this month:  

Session VII – Military/Central Arkansas Economy/Leadership Arkansas Class VIII Graduation June 19-20, North Little Rock/Jacksonville; Sponsors – First Arkansas Bank & Trust and Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.

Leadership Arkansas Class VIII is presented by ARcare. Class VIII is sponsored by Southland Park Gaming and Racing and Walmart Stores Inc.

If your company or organization is interested in helping sponsor the remaining Class VIII session, contact Bill Watson at bwatson@arkansasstatechamber.com or 501-802-1740.

For more information on Leadership Arkansas, contact Susie Marks at smarks@arkansasstatechamber.com or 501-210-4206.