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.


2016/2017 L.E.A.D. Class

Student Business
Alicia Nelson City of Independence
Ashton Barker CommunityAmerica Credit Union
Beth Franklin Keller Williams Southland Partners
Betsy Waldman Northwest Communities Development Corporation
Bridgette Casey Truman Medical Center/Jackson County Health Dept.
Dee Weller Blue Ridge Bank and Trust
Devin Hartley Trabon Managed Services
Drew Hammer Edward Jones
James Allison Orbital ATK
Jeff Carpenter JobOne
Jeff McLaughlin Corporate CopyPrint
Jenny Turner The Arc of the Ozarks
Katie Early Mother's Refuge
Kimberly Abbs Riley Stewart Title Company
Kris Zerr Independence Chamber of Commerce
Kristy DeMeyer Truckmovers.com
LaDon Gramling Speaks Family Legacy Chapels
Lisa Moorhouse Drumm Farm Center for Children
Marge Padgitt Three Trails Cottages LLC
Nichole Barnette Centerpoint
Rebecca Conrad Fort Osage Career & Technology Center
Ryan Fowler Orbital ATK
Sarah Carnes-Lemp City of Independence
Seth Bosch City of Independence Police
Tom Woodward RBC Wealth Management

2017 Steering Committee

Name Business
Carrie Randle Comprehensive Mental Health Services
Hap Graff Independence Chamber
Jeremy Nuckols American Medical Response 
Jodi Krantz Independence Economic Development Council
Kelsie Fell Truman Medical Centers
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
Rebecca Higgs American Medical Response
Stephanie Smith Fort Osage School District
Trina Anderson Independence Chamber

Copyright 2015 - All Rights Reserved - Micronet