Leadership Academy

Leadership Academy logo
DeKalb Leadership Academy expands your network and further develops your leadership perspective through community exposure and engagement. Maximizing employee potential and encouraging active participation in business and the community are among the goals of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Academy.

Leadership Topics

  • Personal Evaluation and Development
  • Public Speaking Skills
  • Personal Leadership Styles
  • Networking Skills
  • Group & Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Negotiating Skills
  • Business Etiquette
  • Community Service Experiences
  • Overview of Local Nonprofits
  • Public Policy Discussions
  • Government Affairs
  • Overview of Health Care in our Community
  • Tours of Relevant Area Facilities
  • Overview of Area Educational Institutions
  • Community Stewardship
  • Better Understanding of Sustainable Economic Vitality of the Area
  • Community Class Project(s)

2023-2024 Class Members

Sergio Albarran - FNBO
Meredith Bend - Syngenta
Trey Borgrud - NIU Athletics
Jasmine Carey - NIU STEAM
Leah Graceffa - Elder Care Services of DeKalb County
Sam Guerrero - Northern Illinois University
Sara Hurtado - Lehan Drugs
Christine Lagattolla - Northern Illinois University
Justin Lutz - Heartland Bank & Trust Co.
Matt Maurer - 3M
Katherine McLaughlin - DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Timothy McMahon - The Lincoln Inn
Sandy Morales - Safe Passage
Jane Pearre - Sundog
Elena Pizano - Birth to Five Illinois - Region 16/DeKalb County
Onassis Rivera - Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District
Norma Rutigliano - Old National Bank
Emily Schulmesiter - Meta
Chelsea Shearon - Housing Authority of the County of DeKalb
Stacey Smith - Bockman's Auto Truck & Tire
Shauna Stevens - Northern Illinois Federal Credit Union
Sadie Tomlinson - Banner Up Signs
Israel Vargas - Target Distribution Center
Austin Wilson - OC Creative
Regina Zwart - Fox Valley Community Services

Advisory Committee

Chair: Kasey Sheley - Sundog
Vice Chair: Erin Arnold - Fidelity Investments
Secretary: Peyton Adams - 94.9 WDKB
Cathy Doederlein - Northern Illinois University
Cindy Green-Deutsch - Old National Bank
Devyn Grzywa - FNBO
Jeanine Holcomb - Egyptian Theatre
Erica Huerta - FNBO
Riley Loucks-Kues - Family Service Agency
Kurt Mattson - DeKalb Mechanical
Brandon Pugh - Egyptian Theatre
Libby Raih - Michaels
Matt Duffy – DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

Leadership Academy group working together at a table

2024-2025 Applications

Interested in applying for the 2024-2025 class? Early bird applications are available through Friday, June 28th. Recommendation forms are due Friday, July 12th.

2024-2025 Application
recommendation form

Leadership Academy Alumni Swag

Show how you are a proud graduate of Leadership Academy by purchasing Leadership Academy Alumni men and women's apparel! Options include t-shirts, to cardigans, to dress shirts.

SHOP apparel

Graduate Testimonials

There are over 350 DeKalb Leadership Academy graduates. Listen to some of our alumni talk about how going through the program helped them become more powerful leaders.


If you're interested in learning more about Leadership Academy, submit your email and we will contact you. You could be in the next graduating class!

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