A Community of Servant Leaders

The Abilene Chamber believes we have leaders within our community on the cusp of greatness. To help foster and further develop a community of leaders, we’re proud to offer you the opportunity to have one of your team members apply to the Leadership Abilene program.

We’re committed to helping our partners invest in their talent through comprehensive community leadership development training so your business leaders can connect and grow within our community.

Powering Leadership

What it looks like

Through monthly, full-day sessions focusing on key community issues and topics, participants have a chance to deepen their understanding of the inner workings of the Big Country and develop the broad and inclusive mindset needed for community stewardship.

Powering Leadership

The Goal

To create a network of community leaders who act on the need, the desire, and the ambition to work for the common good and serve the primary needs of others by holding our community in trust.

Powering Leadership

Best Class Ever

Two of the greatest benefits of participation in Leadership Abilene are the lifelong friendships made with your classmates and access to the Leadership Abilene Alumni network. Stay connected to your class and other Leadership Abilene alumni by attending alumni events and mixers.

Powering Leaders

Frequently Asked Questions

Leadership Abilene, a program of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, began in 1979 and strives to expose participants to the many services, resources, organizations and businesses that make Abilene unique. Each month (of the nine-month program) the group will attend presentations, tour facilities and interact with representatives from local businesses, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and public offices. 

Anyone 21 and older who is interested in expanding your network and gaining deeper insight and access to all that Abilene has to offer.

This program runs one full day, monthly, from September through May. Usually on a Thursday or a Friday. A mandatory orientation and seven out of the nine program days are required to graduate from the program.

Leadership Abilene participants will walk away with a broader and deeper perspective of the city and their role in it. They gain personal and professional skills that increase their effectiveness both within the community and business environment.

Businesses whose employees participate in Leadership Abilene benefit from participants’ newfound knowledge of the city. Emerging leaders will add to their leadership toolkit, developing personal skills that will contribute to their role in the workplace. More experienced leaders will
also benefit from finding new opportunities to serve the community and learning firsthand about vital local issues. All participants will expand their network and build strong individual connections to the community, making them more committed leaders.

The business community benefits from the development of a source of high-quality leaders with broadened perspectives prepared to address issues critical to our region's future. The success of the program can be measured by the number of Leadership Abilene graduates who currently
serve the community in volunteer and elected positions.

The tuition for participants of Chamber member organizations is $1,295. Tuition for non-member participants is $1,495. Tuition covers all meals, transportation, lodging, class shirts/nametags, and miscellaneous program-related expenses. The tuition is payable in full on or before September 11, 2024.

The fee may be paid by the applicant, their employer, or by a combination of both. To claim the Chamber of Commerce discount, the employer should be a member of the Abilene Chamber.

Yes! The Class of 2023 set up a scholarship program for those interested in participating that may not be able to swing the cost. To learn more about this process, contact our staff liaison.

Acceptance into the Leadership Abilene program is a competitive process as we receive significantly more applications than spaces allotted.

Each year, the number of applications increases, yet the number we can accommodate in the class remains constant – about 36 participants. Some Leadership Abilene participants have applied multiple times before being accepted into the class.

The typical class size for the program is 36 participants.

Once you have submitted your application form and all other components, your application will be considered complete. The Leadership Abilene Selection Committee will determine who will be invited to join the class. The selection committee is anonymous and seeks to establish a class that represents a strong representation of a diverse group of professional, demographic, and personal attributes and a balance of companies and organizations represented.

The selection committee also seeks candidates who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to community service and a strong motivation to participate in the Leadership Abilene program. Candidates will be notified by letter or phone call regarding class selection by end of July.

Leadership Abilene serves adults of any age who wish to better understand their community and get more involved in community service. The age range of a class typically spans from participants in their mid-20s to their 70s. Diversity of age and experience is considered a strength in selecting a Leadership Abilene class.

The program aims to be inclusive to everyone. We work with candidates who require accessibility and accommodation to ensure they can participate in the program fully.

2023-2024 Chair

Adam Lancaster, CCSB-Coleman County State Bank

2023-2024 Chair-Elect

Noreen White, Betty Hardwick Center



Allison Alvarez, Arrow Ford

Misti Collier, CCSB-Coleman County State Bank

Economic Development

Shaun Martin, Atmos Energy

Servant Leadership

Stephanie DeLaGarza, Community Foundation of Abilene


Brandi Terry, Cisco College


Erica Pangburn, Ekdahl Nelson Real Estate

City/County Govt

Kate Alvarez, City of Abilene


Cameron Wiley, Dyess Air Force Base


Robb Walker, West Texas Rehabilitation Center


Mindi Nagy, Abilene Country Club

Kimberly Prater, Gary's Floral Gallery

Powering Leadership

Leadership Abilene Class of 2023

Vast Alumni Network

Leadership Abilene alumni are working to start an Alumni program! If you're a graduate of the program and interested in getting involved, reach out below.
Leadership Abilene Class of 2024

Class of 2024

The Abilene Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors are pleased to announce the 36 members of Leadership Abilene Class of 2024.
Abilene, Texas Skyline

Become a part of the next best class ever

Powered by business.

Thank you to our Class of 2024 Sponsors

Want More Information?

Jennifer Kent

Director of Programs