Mission: To identify, cultivate and develop leaders who will serve and positively impact our community.
At the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, we believe the leaders of tomorrow are critical to our region’s future success and economic growth. That’s why, in 1971, we created the Leadership Beaumont program.
Leadership Beaumont identifies mid-level executives with strong leadership potential, providing them with opportunities to engage in the region’s business and civic communities, and acquire skills to lead organizations into the next decade and beyond. The nine month program brings 30-40 business professionals together to address key issues in our community including but not limited to infrastructure, downtown development, education and health & wellness.
The program seeks to:
- Identify men and women who have demonstrated leadership qualities and concern for the Beaumont area’s future.
- Provide a systematic program for making participants more aware of the community’s opportunities, needs, problems and resources.
- Open lines of communication and strengthen existing relationships with participants from various segments of the community and with existing community leaders.
- Encourage participants to broaden their involvement in community affairs by matching their skills and interests to existing needs.
- Explore various concepts of leadership and ways to become a more effective leader.
In 1971, Beaumont became the first city in Texas to institute a leadership development program. In 1991, Leadership Beaumont started two new leadership programs, Leadership Southeast Texas and Youth Leadership, and in 2002, began the Public Service Candidate School. Since 1971, more than 1,600 area men and women have participated in the Leadership Beaumont program. Many have gone on to become leaders in various fields of endeavor, and other cities throughout the state have followed Beaumont’s lead and established leadership programs of their own.
What has Leadership Beaumont accomplished?
Since 1971 more than 1,600 leaders have graduated the program, many of whom now are civic and business leaders across Southeast Texas, the state of Texas, and the nation. Some of the long-standing programs, events and initiatives that came from the program include:
- Created Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA of Southeast Texas)
- The downtown Beaumont 4th of July Celebration
- Three Youth Leadership programs annually for eighth grade students and high school students
- The Public Service Candidate Workshop
- “Noon Tunes” and Brown Bag lunches in downtown
- Beaumont Releaf Program
- “Suits for Success” Program
- Implemented “Planet K12” – a website for youth activity, interests and communications
- And innumerable other beneficial contributions to the community.
What would you learn?
Each Leadership Beaumont class covers a 9-month period usually from September through May. There are two full-day sessions in September and January with an additional leadership development session and five seminar sessions held in the evenings.
Participants are required to attend all sessions and to work closely within a small group to develop and present one of the monthly seminars. Each small group meets for six to eight weeks to discuss its assigned topic, talk with resource people and develop a program to be presented to the entire Leadership Beaumont group at one of the monthly seminar/dinner meetings. Participants are trained in team-building, communications and discussion techniques while studying various issues facing the city.
Topics to be studied by each Leadership Beaumont class depend on what problems, challenges or issues are confronting the community at the time. In the past, classes have examined such subjects as crime, local government, quality of life, economic development, ethnic diversity, family, and education.
After finishing the 9-month program, participants are encouraged to remain active in an alumni program offering continued networking opportunities and information on the program and the community.
Ideally, fewer than 50 men and women from a broad spectrum of community life are invited to participate in each year’s program. Representatives of business, labor, government, minority groups, religious organizations, civic groups and professional fields are typically involved.
Participants are nominated by people who recognize them as leaders of the future. Employers, civic groups, social service agencies, former Leadership Beaumont participants and Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce members recommend individuals they believe would benefit from – and benefit – such a program. In selecting each year’s participants, the program’s advisory group strives for a diverse cross-section of the community.
The program year begins in September and ends the following May. There is a tuition fee which includes the cost for the dinner/seminar meetings and program materials. This fee of $800 is one of the lower tuitions of leadership programs nationwide. Sponsoring employers and organizations usually pay the tuition, although individuals may pay on their own. Each participant is expected to pay $50 of the tuition fee. Tuition is non-refundable after the opening session in September. Full or partial scholarships are available.
Leadership Beaumont is operated by the Beaumont Chamber Foundation and therefore has obtained 501(C)3 status as a non-profit charitable contribution organization through the state of Texas that allows a portion of the tuition cost to be tax deductible.
More about the program
Leadership Beaumont is a program founded and initiated by the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce and the Junior League of Beaumont. It is privately funded and operated by the Beaumont Chamber Foundation, a 501(C) 3 non-profit corporation. If you are interested in (1) participating yourself, (2) nominating an employee or someone you know as a participant, (3) providing scholarship assistance, or (4) making a contribution to the Beaumont Chamber Foundation, please call the Greater Chamber of Commerce at 409 838-6581.
To nominate a Southeast Texas professional for Leadership Beaumont, contact Caralee Thompson.