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Leading From Within Expands, Launches North County Community Impact Program

Building upon its proven track record of providing high quality leadership development in the Santa Barbara region, local nonprofit Leading From Within is expanding its program to serve Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Ynez and the surrounding areas.

Leading for Community Impact will launch in November 2016, offering a powerful professional development opportunity tailor-made for northern Santa Barbara County leaders.

“The needs of each region are distinct, and Leading from Within is uniquely qualified to customize programs to best fit the county we serve,” said Carrie Randolph, Leading From Within executive director. “We have consulted numerous leaders in the area to help us plan this program, honing their expertise, but what stands out above all else is their excitement and desire for a program to serve the passionate and talented leaders in this area of the coiunty.”

The program is currently recruiting its first cohort class, seeking 15 seasoned professionals as well as those with strong leadership potential to participate in the year-long program that builds community connections, explores leadership principles, teaches social sector fundamentals and invests in both personal and professional development.

Leading from Within conducted extensive research, spanning more than one year, to better understand northern Santa Barbara County’s resources and needs.

The organization interviewed and surveyed over 30 leaders in the region representing a variety of roles and expertise and then spent another six months developing curriculum.

The research revealed that there are many hard-working, resilient leaders in these markets who are deeply committed to their mission, yet there is a deficit of resources investing in these leaders who are on the front line, serving many of Santa Barbara County’s most vulnerable community members.

“We learned that the leaders of Santa Maria, Lompoc and the surrounding communities face challenges which demand tremendous leadership, innovative thinking and time to collaborate,” said Christa Roth, director of leadership programs for Leading from Within. “While leaders had access to great quality workshops, research showed that they were seeking a dedicated time each month to invest in their professional development, which would allow them time to reflect, plan and act with more intention and confidence.” 

Randolph said Leading from Within decided to launch the program because it was such a natural fit for the organization that has empowered more than 250 leaders from private, public and nonprofit sectors over the past eight years.

“We believe that community solutions begin with effective leadership, and Leading from Within has the experience in creating trusting relationships among our participants that lead to ongoing support, sharing of resources and collaboration that addresses the feelings of isolation and competitiveness that were identified through the research,” Randolph said.

The leadership development program meets one day each month in Santa Maria. Graduates of this program will have the leadership skills, management strategies and peer networks to make a greater impact on their organization and the communities they serve.  

To learn more about Leading for Community Impact or to apply, visit Information sessions will be held Wednesday, Aug. 24 and Tuesday, Sept. 14 from 9-10 a.m. at Santa Maria Cornerstone Community Room. Please RSVP online. Applications are due by Sept. 23. 

Leading from Within is grateful for the generosity of the Santa Barbara Foundation and the Weingart Foundation for making this program possible.

Leading from Within invests in the social sector by developing, nurturing and connecting leaders through its three existing programs: Courage to Lead, a renewal retreat-based program; Emerging Leaders Program, which empowers, elevates and connects next generation nonprofit leaders; and Katherine Harvey Fellows, an 18-month experiential education opportunity run in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Foundation. 

The goal of LFW is to foster a dynamic network of public-minded leaders that knows each other, trusts each other and is therefore better able to work together to improve our communities.

Carrie Randolph is the executive director of Leading From Within.

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