• Leadership Program

    Leadership West Bend, offered by the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce, is an immersive program designed to introduce emerging leaders to the inner workings of the public and private businesses and organizations of West Bend with the goal of inspiring community leadership. Through the guidance of current business and community leaders, participants will tour places of business and local importance, create a network of business peers, learn key leadership principles, and develop insights on the positive impact giving back has on the success of a community. This program provides valuable insights into various aspects of leadership, including emotional intelligence and decision-making, through session days and hands-on projects. With access to influential speakers, networking opportunities, and mentorship, members of Leadership West Bend develop the tools and relationships needed to make a positive impact in their professional and personal lives.

    Leadership West Bend Class of 2025

    We are thrilled to announce that the Leadership West Bend Class of 2025 is now full! Due to the overwhelming interest and support for this incredible program, we have reached maximum capacity. Any applications received on or after June 10 will be placed on our waitlist. If spots become available, we will reach out to those on the waitlist. Additionally, being on the waitlist ensures early access to the application for the Class of 2026. We are excited to see the amazing contributions from our Class of 2025 and thank you all for your enthusiastic participation!


    Leadership Program Expectations

    Program Time Commitment:

    Attendance: Session days begin at 8 am and end no later than 4:30 pm

    Class of 2025 Session Days:

    1. September 19 & 20, 2024 – Class Retreat (8 am to no later than 4:30 pm both days)
    2. October 17, 2024
    3. November 21, 2024
    4. December 19, 2024
    5. January 16, 2025
    6. February 13, 2025
    7. March 20, 2025
    8. April 17, 2025
    9. April 17, 2025 – Alumni Social (encouraged but not required) 4:30 pm to 6 pm
    10. May 22, 2025 – Project Presentation Day 8 am to 11 am, Graduation Luncheon 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

    Retreat attendance is a must to participate in this program. Being absent for a session more than twice may result in being dropped from the course without graduation. Once the program begins, program tuition is not refundable.

    Community Projects:

    As part of the program curriculum, the class will participate in the planning of small community projects. The planning and execution of these projects will require time outside of the listed session days. These project planning times are determined by the participants, independent of the LWB Program Time Commitment.                 

  • Betty A. Pearson Community Leadership Award


    The Leadership West Bend Alumni Association and the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce that Chris Zwygart is the recipient for the 2024 Betty A. Pearson Community Leadership Award. Chris has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to the West Bend community through his leadership and service in various nonprofit organizations.


    As Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at West Bend Insurance Company, Chris has demonstrated a deep commitment to giving back and making a positive impact in the community. His dedication to non-profit service is evident through his extensive involvement in organizations such as the West Bend School Board, Cedar Community Foundation, Froedtert & Community Health System, and many others.


    Chris's leadership roles and contributions span over the years, where he has served on numerous boards, committees, and advisory councils, focusing on areas such as education, healthcare, and community development. His passion for promoting leadership development and non-profit excellence has made a lasting impact on the West Bend area.


    In his nomination statement, Chris expressed his gratitude for the nomination and highlighted the importance of leadership development programs like Leadership West Bend. He emphasized the value of community collaboration and the role of businesses in supporting non-profit initiatives.


    The Betty A. Pearson Community Leadership Award, named in honor of former Chamber President and founder of Leadership West Bend, Betty Pearson, recognizes individuals who exemplify exceptional leadership qualities and make significant contributions to the betterment of the West Bend community. The award ceremony will take place on May 16, 2024, at the Leadership West Bend Class of 2024 Graduation held at Cedar Community.


    The West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce and the Leadership West Bend Alumni Association congratulate Chris Zwygart on his 2024 Betty A. Pearson Community Leadership Award and applaud his ongoing commitment to community service and leadership.


    Leadership West Bend (LWB) is a community stewardship program that began in 1991 and is sponsored by the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce. 

    To date, LWB has welcomed 582 graduates and created a strong alumni network of individuals with a wide range of experience and knowledge ready to serve the community. The primary purpose of LWB is to seek out emerging leaders in the West Bend area and prepare them for positions of public influence and decision making.


    For more information on LWB and our graduates, take a look at our 2023 Alumni Directory


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