Use Your Gifts To Strengthen Our Community

Cynthia Knapek.

Cynthia Knapek.

Plato said it most simply, “The city is what it is because the citizens are who they are.”

Our community benefits time and time again from those leaders who give their time and talent to serve the public good. In fact, many of you are those leaders, and as citizens, we all wish for a vibrant future for our city. At the Leadership Louisville Center, we have the unique opportunity to present programs that increase the ability of individuals to make this vibrant future a reality. As we accept applications for the Leadership Louisville Class of 2013, we hope to inspire more citizens with this sense of ownership in our shared future.

Our over 6,000 graduates include some of our community’s most dedicated trustees. We take a lot of pride in the things that our graduates have accomplished for the city. Our graduates created The Housing Partnership and the Regional Leadership Coalition. They were the catalyst for the robust farmer’s market programs we enjoy today. Connections made in our classes led to Jewish Hospital’s support of the Louisville Science Center’s Pulse of Surgery program and to the success of the Zoo’s Glacier Run capital campaign. Positive outcomes can be seen everywhere in our community.

As our graduates go on to assume philanthropic roles, they’ve all gained self-confidence as leaders, expanded their commitment to our community and developed a deeper understanding of issues that have the potential to propel our city forward. And while the community is the clear benefactor of Leadership Louisville Center programs, our graduates also report significant benefits including an increase in professional contacts, exposure for their businesses and feeling more connected to decision-makers in the community. We were recently recognized by the Center for Creative Leadership in a benchmark study of community leadership organizations, as the “gold standard” global provider of executive leadership education.

In order to foster and sustain vibrant, diverse community leadership, we are calling all leaders and aspiring leaders to be in the Center. At the Leadership Louisville Center, our greatest potential for positive impact in the community comes from our ability to provide a perpetually replenishing supply of inspired and informed leaders. These leaders must be diverse and represent all aspects of our community. Our supporters and scholarship funds allow anyone, from the most powerful CEO to the most committed civic volunteer, access to our leadership training, expanded networks and opportunities to make a difference.

I’m inviting individuals to become part of our unique network of leaders motivated to create a world-class community.

Our region’s most dynamic leaders are invited to apply for the 34th Leadership Louisville class. Now is the time to refer great candidates or consider applying yourself. It is a ten-month experience where you will experience a rich diversity of ideas and our city’s limitless possibilities. It’s an investment in yourself and in your community. It will allow you to raise your profile and become more influential, both within your company and in our region. Applications are open through April 27, 2012. Complete program and application details are available at

Along with the Leadership Louisville program, we offer additional programs such as Focus Louisville to begin your leadership connections, Ignite Louisville for emerging leaders to grow capacity, and Bingham Fellows for those wishing to make a significant investment in our community. Wherever you are, there is an opportunity to be more invested in making our community better. Our programs and events are designed for individuals at all levels of their careers. If you’re ready to realize your true potential as a leader, become more connected with our community and expand your network – the Leadership Louisville experience is for you.

Now is the time to consider your place in our community. How will you use your gifts to create a world-class city? Let us give you the tools to make your aspirations a reality.

Cynthia Knapek
Leadership Louisville Center

Cynthia Knapek has been an active civic leader in Louisville for 20 years. In 2012, she became President of the Leadership Louisville Center. Before joining Leadership Louisville, she was Executive Director of Brightside. Cynthia was named to Business First’s Top 40 Leaders Under 40 in 2001 and recognized as Today’s Woman’s “Way to Go Woman” in 2006. Cynthia was a founding member and the first President of the Young Professionals Association of Louisville (YPAL). She is a graduate of the Bingham Fellows Class of 2009 and of Leadership Network in 2006. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Louisville.