About LE

Vision Statement

Leadership Evergreen’s vision is for vibrant, aware, concerned and active local leaders to contribute to our mountain community.

Mission Statement

To achieve its vision, Leadership Evergreen offers participants opportunities to learn from and interact with community leaders, and to enhance and strengthen their leadership abilities, all with the goal of solving issues that impact our mountain community.

Leadership Program

Leadership Evergreen has graduated a class of participants every other year since 1996. Please visit our Alumni page to view our graduating class members.

History of Leadership Evergreen

Leadership Evergreen was inspired in 1993 by ‘Fifty for Colorado’, a one-year leadership program sponsored by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, whose purpose was to educate fifty up-and-coming individuals on state economics, the inner workings of governmental affairs and the dynamics of organizations and businesses that impact the state.  Using ‘Fifty for Colorado’ as a guide, two local program graduates – Andy Petrick, Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and Linda Kirkpatrick, publisher of Upbeat newspaper – collaborated in 1994 to explore the possibility of offering a similar small-scale program in Evergreen.

Andy Petrick and Linda Kirkpatrick
CoFounders Andy Petrick and Linda Kirkpatrick

Under the wing of the Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce, ten local community leaders worked together to develop a curriculum designed to encourage participating individuals to further their understanding of local government, including unincorporated Jefferson County, Special Districts, and how local organizations make things happen in the mountain area.  The first applications to Leadership Evergreen were accepted in the fall of 1995.  Following a rigorous interview process, fifteen candidates were selected for the inaugural class, which launched in January, 1996.  Tuition for the 100-hour, year-long program was $600.

Now an independent 501(c)6 organization, Leadership Evergreen is governed by a rotating Board of Directors, most of whom are program graduates, who plan the curriculum for each bi-annual leadership class.  Participants attend monthly modules on the community’s History, Leadership Skills, Non-Profits, Education, Public & Community Services, Economic Development, Healthcare, Natural Resources, Recreation and Environment, Political Process and Jefferson County Government, with each session taught by qualified professionals in their fields of expertise.  Students are expected to attend every module, and to participate in a class project that gives back to the community.  Each class ends with a festive graduation, and graduates are encouraged to seek opportunities to continue using the skills they learned in service to the mountain community.

In 2004, Leadership Evergreen introduced the Leader of the Year program to recognize individuals “who have demonstrated creative and innovative solutions to community issues in the greater Evergreen area.”  The award is presented annually at the Honoree Celebration, co-hosted by Leadership Evergreen and the Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce.

In recent years, Leadership Evergreen has extended its reach with a website presence – www.leadershipevergreen.org – and quarterly email newsletter updates to alumni and supporters.  The Leadership Evergreen Advisory Board was initiated in 2015, consisting of former Board members who are active in both LE and the community.  The Advisory Board maintains continuity by preserving institutional history, assisting with modules, events and activities, and promoting the organization.

The addition of module sponsorships and the Friends of LE program has kept class tuition affordable.  In fact, current tuition is $550 – $50 less than when the program began in 1996.  In 2016, LE established the Leadership Evergreen Legacy Fund, a 501(c)3 that affords tax-exempt status to contributions made to the program.

Today, Leadership Evergreen is a respected program that prepares informed and qualified leaders who possess a broad understanding, respect and commitment to the history and culture of our mountain community.  To date, LE has hosted eleven classes and boasts approximately 165 graduates, many of whom have become trusted leaders who continue to serve the public good.

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