The goal of Leadership Clarksville today is the same as it was in 1987:
- To build channels of communication between established leaders.
- To connect these leaders with community issues.
- To equip participants with insights, not solutions.
- To involve citizens in a non-partisan manner
The men and women selected each year represent a diversity of races, religions, ages and political persuasions, as well as a geographical cross section of neighborhoods. The class includes native Clarksvillians and people who have moved here in leadership positions. Participants are educators, doctors, bankers, artists, active and retired military, business people, ministers, lawyers, and representatives of labor, public service, international communities, and the volunteer sector.
Leadership Clarksville was born in 1987, after two years of close study by two leaders in the Clarksville community, Dee Bryant Boaz, Editor of The Leaf Chronicle, and Jim Mann, President of First Federal Savings Bank.
At the same time, Jack B. Turner, president of Jack B. Turner & Associates, was identified as the founding president. Jack, Jim, and Dee did not do it alone, however. Ross Hicks, attorney, and Wendell Gilbert, retired brigadier general, were instrumental in developing the concept and helping with its initial execution. Following Leadership Nashville’s model, a full-time executive director was hired. Local resident, Carole R. Dorris, was hired as the first executive director and retired a full 35 years later. The current Executive Director is Rich Holladay, local award winning business leader and retired career soldier.
Leadership Clarksville is a volunteer-driven organization that is lead by the executive director. The program is governed by a Board of Trustees and an Executive Committee.
Leadership Clarksville is an independent, non-profit organization and not an extension of the Chamber of Commerce, even though the office is located within the Chamber’s walls. Despite its independent structure, it recognized that from the beginning and even more today, the support from the city, county and chamber has contributed significantly to its continuing success.
Funded by private support and donations, Leadership Clarksville’s alumni have secured individual and corporate sponsorships to complement the program budget. These donations, in addition to program tuition, help cover the cost of meals, meeting space, entertainment and transportation.