About Leadership Kitsap
Leadership Kitsap fosters and empowers educated, prepared, and engaged community leaders.
Founded by the Kitsap Chambers of Commerce and the United Way of Kitsap County in 1993, the Leadership Kitsap Foundation incorporated in 1993. The first Leadership Kitsap class with 13 members convened in September 1994 and graduated in June 1995. As of June 2023, Leadership Kitsap has graduated 690 servant leaders into the community and developed 120 community service projects throughout the county.
Leadership Kitsap strives to achieve these goals:
- To assist emerging leaders in business, government, and the community to expand their skills in and commitment to voluntary civic responsibility.
- To provide these women and men with an understanding of major public policy issues facing the Kitsap community.
- To enhance communication among leaders from diverse backgrounds and interests.
- To facilitate access between emerging leaders and the leadership of the Kitsap community.
The legacy of the Leadership Kitsap Signature Program is alumni who represent a community that is geographically, racially, and professionally diverse. They emerge from the 10-month signature program with a deeper commitment to civic volunteerism. They work together to provide the leadership needed to address the challenges ahead.
Leadership makes things happen. It identifies opportunities, shapes opinions, and meets challenges. Meeting these complex challenges requires a vigorous, informed group of leaders that represents all segments of our community.
Leadership Kitsap was originally organized in 1993 by the Bremerton Area chamber of Commerce in conjunction with all Kitsap chambers, and United Way of Kitsap County to reinforce the concept of informed and committed civic volunteerism. Its purpose is to provide focus for an effective group of alumni who respond to challenges facing our dynamic and evolving region.
Leadership Kitsap’s goal is to build a new and continuing source of fine leaders. The program brings together people from many professional fields (public and private), finance, manufacturing, construction, education, law, government, military, media, health care, utilities, retail and human services. It creates a structured system of communications among leaders from different sectors and constituencies, and facilitates access between the existing and the merging leadership of the community. Leadership Kitsap produces colleagues who can and will help each other get things done.
Above all, Leadership Kitsap promotes a breadth of vision and an understanding of the complexity of the Kitsap area and its public policy issues. It sharpens the leadership skills necessary to motivate and engage others in a collaborative effort to meet the challenges ahead.
Leadership Kitsap follows the Positive Leadership curriculum, designed to help identify, expand and enhance seven leadership capacities. It is a clear and useful approach to leadership that can apply to established and emerging leaders in business, nonprofits, community organizations and municipal government, and it has a strong personal development component.
Positive Leadership recognizes seven core capacities: authenticity, purpose, reason, advocacy, community building, resilience, and gratitude. Developing and strengthening these leadership capacities leads to increasing leadership potential.
Challenge Days occur once a month. Each day examines a key community issue such as local government, education, economics, healthy communities, state government, law and justice, arts and culture, or environment and planning. Presenters with differing perspectives and leadership involvement in the community appear each month.
An Opening Retreat in September focuses on personal and public leadership skills. Individual leadership styles are analyzed, as well as group process skills of consensus building and conflict resolution. These structured retreats link substantive community issues with more abstract concepts of leadership.
Community Projects fill part of the ten-month period. Class members divide into teams to identify a community need and collaborate with existing community organizations in researching the issue, acquiring the necessary resources, and implementing creative approaches to the problems and opportunities facing our region. View Past Projects List
Signature Program Challenge Days
- Opening Retreat (Positive Leadership: Introduction)
- Local Government (Authenticity)
- Education (Purpose)
- Economics (Advocacy)
- Healthy Community (Resilience)
- State Government Trip to Olympia
- Law & Justice (Community Building)
- Arts & Culture (Reason)
- Environment & Planning (Gratitude)
- Personal Reflections (Conclusion: Thriving
- Graduation Ceremony Kiana Lodge, Poulsbo
The 2021-2022 Leadership Kitsap Foundation Annual Report