L.E.A.D. Independence               

Leadership Education Action Development

Each year a diverse group of people from the Independence community take part in this program, and each year they create a cohesive network, in which every person is encouraged to learn, share and grow.

L.E.A.D. Independence was one of the first leadership programs developed in Eastern Jackson County

"I’ve discovered my purpose is to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Participation in the Independence Chamber LEAD class of 2016 complimented my purpose. The connections and exposure to the Independence community were enriching."

-Shelia Williams, DWD Workforce Coordinator, L.E.A.D. Class of 2016-
Developed by the Independence Chamber of Commerce, L.E.A.D. Independence aims to provide a network of informed leaders with a commitment to the continued growth and development of our City. L.E.A.D. Independence provides a road map for successful community involvement through interaction with key community leaders and the issues that make Independence distinctive.


How does it work?

Selected candidates make a commitment to participate in a structured nine-month program.

In September, the class gathers for an orientation team-building retreat. October through May, the class meets on the third Thursday of each month for an eight-hour session.

Class members form task forces to explore a variety of timely issues. Issues for discussion have included such topics as education, health care, government, tourism, social services and economic development.

The task forces research their subjects and present information to the class through guest speakers, tours, panel discussions, informal question-and-answer sessions and on-site visitations. A variety of community leaders and experts are invited to participate in these sessions. Each task force is challenged to devise innovative programs on their subject.

Need more information? 

Contact Trina Anderson at trina@iChamber.biz or give us a call at (816) 252-4745!

Check out pictures from L.E.A.D. classes here!

Who benefits?

Everyone! The community, the candidate and sponsoring organizations.

  • The community receives an expanding source of informed, dedicated leaders.
  • The candidates obtain a wealth of information about Independence, as well as involvement with key leaders in the community during the course.
  • The sponsoring organizations benefit from the management development of their participants, in addition to achieving better community relations due to the networking of the men and women in L.E.A.D. Independence.
“The leadership potential of L.E.A.D. graduates sharing and caring throughout this community is…Wow!
-Nancy Kimak, Kimak’s Pest Control-



What happens at the end?

The end of the program is just beginning for the participants. L.E.A.D. graduates are positioned to easily transitioned into becoming active in the community - and are encouraged to do so.  

The Alumni Association provides educational and social opportunities for participants to continue to meet. Alumni also assist in planning future L.E.A.D. programs. 

In its 30-year existence, the program has graduated more than 580 individuals. Many graduates have made significant contributions to our community in a variety of leadership roles and have remained in contact with their classmates.

The cost of the 9 month LEAD program is $575/participant.



2017/2018 L.E.A.D. Class


Amy Mallinson-Loges Messiah Lutheran School
Annette Willett Speaks Funeral Home
Ashley McKenzie CommunityAmerica Credit Union
Becky Giles Stewardship Capital
Charlie Dissell City of Independence
Christina Heinen City of Independence 
Felisa Freiley Truman Lakewood
Ginger Kuftack Corporate Copy Print
Greg Hunsucker TruckMovers.com
Jim Allin FISH Window Cleaning
Jennifer Newbold Independence Power & Light
Joey Palguta Centerpoint Medical Center
Katrina Huckabay Community Services League
Kelsey Edwards Indep. Chamber of Commerce
Kendra Kemp TNC Community
Kristi Eckfeld City of Independence
Lindsay Case MC Power Companies
Matt Medley Medley Smiles
Michael Ditamore Independence Fire Dept
Susan Freeze Graceland University
Trevor Tilton Farmers Insurance
Trey Dyer Orbital ATK
Wes McCubbin Blue Springs R4 School District 
Bill Reynolds City of Independence


2017 Steering Committee

Name Business
Seth Bosch Independence Police Department
Tom Lesnak Indep. Chamber of Commerce
Jeremy Nuckols American Medical Response 
Bridgette Casey Truman Medical Center/Jack Co Health Dept
Devin Hartley Trabon
Jodi Krantz Independence Economic Development Council
Kris Zerr Indep. Chamber of Commerce
Laurie Dean Wiley Waddell & Reed
Lynette Wheeler Truman Medical Centers
Mark Carrick Independence Fire Department
Mary Kay Altiz Independence Power & Light
Pat Farrell Sibley Orchards
Trina Anderson Independence Chamber

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