The Marion Area Leadership Program was initiated in 1991 by a group of citizens concerned about the lack of new leadership in the community.  As Marion continued to grow and develop, it was felt that there would be a need for a continuous pool of individuals to fill diverse leadership needs throughout the community. Since it's inception, over four hundred individuals have participated in the Marion Area Leadership Program. Each of these individuals was sponsored by an organization in the community, typically the individuals' own employer. The diverse list of sponsors include businesses, industries, educational institutions, health care providers, social service agencies, and government entities. 

Marion Area Leadership Program participants attend nine sessions beginning in September and continuing with day-long sessions each month through May. During this time, they have the opportunity to develop and implement new leadership skills as well as learn about the community of Marion. Community topics include local history, educational issues, governmental structures, social service needs, economic development, EnVISIONing the 21st Century activities and health care. Participants not only learn about these areas, but also have the opportunity to explore leadership possibilities and involvement. Presentations to the class are supplemented by tours and site visits. By the end of the program, participants have learned more than they ever imagined they could about their community. Also, many of the skills which have been developed carry over into the participants' work and personal lives.

Mission Statement

It is the mission of Leadership Marion! to invite high-potential candidates from throughout the Marion area to join in a journey to better understand Marion’s history, its current challenges and its future possibilities.  Together, they explore essential building blocks of our community – from education, business and government to health care and social services.

Benefits of Program Participation

Benefits to the participant include:

  • development of leadership and management skills that are both personally and professionally beneficial

  • insight into the county of Marion

  • preparation for rewarding and stimulating community leadership positions

Benefits to the sponsor include:

  • response to community need

  • leadership skill development for their employee

Applications for the 2019/2020 Leadership Marion! Class
is now OPEN. Click here to apply!

Program fee is $850 for Chamber Members
$1,150 for Non-members

For additional information, 
call the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce, 740.382.2181.

Below are videos from some of the latest Leadership Marion! Class projects.

Class of 2015/2016's Community Project: "Restore the Glory" Event

The video for Leadership Marion! Class of 2015-2016 Project: Restore the Glory of Lincoln Field. More information on Restore the Glory can be found on Facebook More information on Leadership Marion! can be found at

Class of 2014/2015's Community Project: "A Taste of Marion" Event

Class of 2013/2014's Community Project: "It's Time" - Instill Pride in Marion Event

The 2013/2014 Leadership Marion! class, facilitated through the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce wants to invite the Marion Area Community to experience why we should be proud of Marion. Be Inspired, Get Involved and Become an Influence! This video is the outcome of the 2013/2014 Leadership Marion!

Class of 2012/2013's Community Project: Create a 5k race to benefit the Marion Tallgrass Trail

A video wrap up of the Marion Area Chamber Leadership Marion! 2012-2013 Class Project: Marion Tallgrass Trail 5k. Created by 2012-2013 class facilitator Tom Toney, President of