• Leadership Eureka



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The 2020 Leadership Team

The Class of Leadership Eureka 2020

Left to Right -Back Row: Greg Seiler, Chris Nelson, Blaine O’Shaughnessy, Ryan Heitz, Beth Burks, Bryan Willkomm, Sean Robertson, Rob Holmlund -Middle Row: Darus Trutna, Scott Adair, Carole Crossley, Kate Witthaus, Meredith Maier, Erika Wright, Emily Davenport, Alanna Powell, Donna Wright -Front Row: Dane Valadao, Margaret Talcott, Christine Silver, Heather Luther, Gretchen Miller, Amanda Kruschke, Meghann Broadstock

Selection process

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For candidates who meet the criteria and commitment noted below. Individuals may apply provided their organization is a Chamber member. An application does not guarantee selection into the cohorts.

A selection committee will review the application to ensure a well rounded cohort and let candidates know of decisions in January.


What is this program?

Through this highly competitive program, participants are introduced to and educated by the most prominent local champions of the region’s key business sectors. Over the course of six months, the program’s 13 classes grant exclusive inside access to many of the most influential businesses and organizations in the Greater Eureka Area.  Each class focuses on a specific theme and includes educational lectures, site tours, leadership training, team building, and meals. Participants gain a deeper understanding of themselves while also more fully understanding our community at the level of deeply connected, experienced, and influential leaders.

Who should apply?

  • Early-career individuals that demonstrate the potential to be meaningful future leaders
  • Mid-career and early-stage leaders that are already making a difference
  • Later-career professionals seeking to sharpen their community leadership skills and to serve as mentors within the class


What will you gain?

  • Experiential leadership training to develop/enhance the skills needed to become a decision maker and leader in our community
  • In-depth education about Eureka’s economy, industries, leaders, and the major business sectors that contribute to the region’s vibrancy and growth
  • Networking opportunities with prevailing community influencers
  • Team building and relationship creation with a cohort of future leaders
  • Participatory community building, volunteering, and creative problem-solving regarding contemporary community needs
  • Lifelong inspiration


Program Logistics

  • Cohort of 20 students selected through a competitive application process.
  • 13 total sessions (8 half day and 5 full day) hosted at various locations.
  • Sessions generally occur on the first and third Wednesdays.
  • Each session includes light breakfast, snacks, and full lunch.  Graduation includes dinner.
  • Each session includes intensive learning sessions, leadership training, dignitaries as guest speakers, hands-on demonstrations, interactive activities, and exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of high-profile sites.
  • The program concludes with graduation and receipt of a certificate.
  • From there, the cohort continues to work on a self-directed and self-managed group project (typically a community-building project, fundraising campaign, and/or charitable venture).
  • Cost is $1,595 per person (non chamber members pay double).
  • Two 50% scholarships are available (see application form).
  • Application forms and project details available here: 
    Apply Online

Become a better leader and gain deep insights about how to better your community!  


Featured Educational Topics from 2020:

Program Introduction & Orientation: Looking Forward & Embracing Change
Personality test. Team building with local business leaders in our community. Historic business tour of Eureka. 

Tourism & seeing our community from an outside perspective
Regional economics of tourism.  Inside access and tour: Eureka Visitor Center & Eddy Alexander.  Inside access & tour: Sequoia Park Zoo & the upcoming canopy walk. (Slattery)

Education: Childhood, Primary, Secondary, Post-Secondary, & Trades
The business of education (Fred VanVleck of Eureka City Schools).  Inside access and tour: College of the Redwoods (Dr. Flamer).  Inside access and tour: HSU (Dr. Jackson). 

Housing & Site Development: Concept & Design > Financing & Construction
Planning/zoning for development. Real Estate & Site Selection. Survey & site civil engineering. Architecture & design. Financing & construction. Challenges of housing. Construction site tour. 

Media, Marketing, & Technology
Communications and Media 101. The Current state and future of print, television, and radio. Social media and marketing 101. The Tech Industry 101. Preparing for future tech disruptions.

Government & Non-Profits
Local gov & taxation. Public Works 101. Tour City Hall (Mayor &City Manager). Tour Wastewater Treatment Plant & jail.  Non-profits 101 (RCAA and Redwood Art Association). 

Banking, Finance, & Investment
The business of banking and finance.  Investing 101.  How to think like a lender.  Inside access and tour.   

Quality of Life & Work-life Balance
Art, museums, and theater as economic development. Community “quality-of-life” indicators. Health, wellness, and work-life balance. Inside access and tour (Arkley Theater and Synapsis).

Business & Industry 
Half-day MBA Program. Inside access & tour: Eureka Coop, Dick Taylor Chocolates, & Papa & Barkley.  Business & Industry panel discussion with champions of industry.   

Public Safety, Criminal Justice, & the Social Services Safety Net
Half-day Police Academy. Current state & future of criminal justice. Fire Fighting Academy 101.  DHHS-Social safety nets & homelessness. Project Uplift. Inside access/tour: Eureka EPD & HB Fire.  

Utilities, Infrastructure, Communications, Transportation, & Energy 
Utilities & infrastructure 101.  The current state & future of energy. Utilities, infrastructure, & the economy. The future of wind energy on Humboldt Bay. Broadband.  Boat tour of bay.


What is “Healthcare?”: A Full Spectrum Summary. The Economics of Healthcare. Hospital Administration 101. Alternative Ways of Thinking About Healthcare. Tour of hospital. 

Graduation & Retreat
Reflecting on the year & critical course evaluation. Planning the curriculum for next year. Select class project. Prepare presentation for Chamber Board.  Present to Board. Lunch & graduation.  


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