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Chamber launches free leadership program

From The Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce:

The Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce is seeking applicants for a free nonpartisan training program to teach local business-minded leaders strategies on how to engage locally in the policy and political process and promote a robust regional economy as the foundation for a vibrant quality of life.

The Public Leadership Institute, to be held on October 24, 25, and 28, will feature experts in political engagement and public policy and allow members to consider how their business experience, skills and talent could address local public affairs issues.

Education for Engagement

Class members can choose one of three educational tracks, covering tactics on how to:  1) advocate for policies to support a strong business climate; 2) land an appointment to critical boards and commissions; or 3) prepare to run for political office.

Applications are available at and must be returned by September 13, 2019.  The classes will be held at the Chamber offices.  Only a limited number of applicants will be selected to participate based on a competitive process. A full scholarship will be provided to all members. The program cannot accept declared or filed candidates for political office.

There is no requirement that participants engage in advocacy or public leadership, merely consider the possibility in a short or long-term time horizon.

 Building the Pro-Business Bench

“Our region is fortunate to have outstanding public leaders who understand the relationship between a strong small business climate and an outstanding quality of life.  It’s important to continue this legacy by building the bench of aspiring advocates and public leaders who want to explore how they can make a difference on important business issues,” said Susan Spears, President and CEO of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Active-Learning Curriculum

The curriculum will be taught in an active-learning workshop format with small-group and simulation exercises. Topics include: Understanding The Political Process and Local Political Environment; Advocacy and Policy Objectives for the Business Community; Identifying Areas of Engagement; Preparing for Opportunities in Public Leadership; Political Messaging and Advocacy; Fundraising; and Building a Grassroots Coalition and Voter Targeting, among other areas.

The program is based on a public leadership development model that has been successful in other regions.

The Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce does not endorse or financially support candidates for office.

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