Leadership Columbia

Leadership Columbia is an annual 6-month program of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce that identifies, cultivates, and motivates future community leaders. This informative and thought-provoking program introduces participants to the opportunities and challenges in our community while exposing them to the Chamber’s strategic initiatives.


Those selected are required to fully participate in the 14 program activities, including an orientation, retreat, regular sessions, networking with Junior Leadership Columbia, and graduation day. Regular sessions involve a combination of panel discussions, tours, hands-on experience, one-on-one interaction with current community leaders, and leadership building group activities designed to expose participants to all aspects of the topics covered in each session. Each session begins with an hour focused on leadership style and skills development, followed by in-depth exploration of a particular industry area. Industry areas include Education, Healthcare, Media, Social Services, Development & Industry, State Government, Arts & Recreation, Local Government, Life Sciences & Agriculture, and Growth & Economy.

Over the course of 6 months, Leadership Columbia meets for a full day, every-other-week. In the past, the program typically began with a Retreat in late January and concluded in June with a Graduation banquet.

In 2020, due to safety protocols and social distancing needs in response to COVID-19, the Steering Committee decided to pause the in-person program in March, offer new virtual content, and resume in-person sessions with industry area exploration when feasible. Leadership Columbia strives to provide an in-depth look at our community which includes visits, tours, and hands-on experiences, and the 2020 program will resume when it is possible to offer this experience.

Please watch this website and future Chamber email communications for updates on when applications for the Class of 2021 will become available and the dates the 2021 program will run.

LC 2018

The application cycle for Leadership Columbia 2021 will be announced in the coming months. Please check back or contact the Chamber with questions. 

Leadership Columbia Presenting Sponsor:

Tiger Scholarship Fund