• Leadership Wilmington
  • Leadership Wilmington

  • Through hands-on community immersion and direct interaction with our community’s current leaders, Leadership Wilmington serves to cultivate leaders and advance the Wilmington region’s economy. The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce has been presenting this leadership development program for 40 years and boasts over 800 graduates. Participants will get an up-close look at some of our region’s most challenging issues and opportunities and build lifelong relationships with other aspiring leaders. Class members will also work together to plan, organize, and execute Work on Wilmington, the community’s largest one-day volunteer service day.

  • About Leadership Wilmington

  • Session Topics Session Topics

    • Arts, History & Culture
    • Environment
    • Education
    • Health & Human Services
    • Infrastructure
    • Social & Criminal Justice
    • Business Growth & Development
    • Politics & Government

  • Speakers & Program Structure Speakers & Program Structure

    Each session will be facilitated by Leadership Wilmington Alumni, key community leaders, and industry professionals. Professional development sessions are also included as part of the curriculum.  You will be encouraged to ask questions and share freely from your experiences to help your peers better understand your perspective in our community.

    Upon graduation, you will be presented with your personalized Leadership Wilmington plaque and will be welcomed into the Leadership Wilmington Alumni network and invited to join the LW Alumni Council.

  • 2024 – 2025 Session Dates & Times 2024 – 2025 Session Dates & Times

    Each class member is expected to participate in the orientation, retreat, all monthly program sessions, Work On Wilmington, and graduation. 

    2024-2025 dates are as follows:

    • One-hour orientation and networking mixer – July 25, 2024, 4:00 - 6:00 pm
    • Three-day/two-night retreat to begin the program - August 14-16, 2024
    • Eight all-day sessions - September 2024 through April 2025, Second Tuesday of the Month (except April, first Tuesday), 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
    • April session will begin and end later in the day to allow for class participation in a City Council Meeting
    • Work on Wilmington - April 26, 2025
    • Half-day session - May 6, 2025
    • Graduation ceremony - May 13, 2025


    To graduate from the program, each class member is expected to participate in the orientation, retreat, all monthly program sessions, Work On Wilmington and graduation. Participants must complete a first draft of their Leadership Philosophy before graduation. Those interested in the Leadership Wilmington program need to make a serious commitment. Employers must agree in advance to grant participants time off from their duties to attend all sessions.

  • Ideal Candidate Ideal Candidate

    Participants come from corporate, small business, education, non-profit and governmental sectors. All established and budding community leaders are encouraged to apply. Must live or work in New Hanover County.

  • Tuition & Application Tuition & Application

    Tuition for the program is $2,500. This fee will cover the orientation, retreat, class day meals, snacks, transportation, site visit fees, facilitator fees, and program materials. Some scholarship funds are available.

    The application for the 2024-2025 Leadership Wilmington Class is now open and the application deadline will be Friday, May 31, 2024, at 11:59 pm. Complete your application here.