Gila Valley Leadership class signup deadline is Wednesday

Photo By June Lowery: The 2018/19 Gila Valley Leadership Class visits the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness. The deadline to sign up for this year’s class is Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 5 p.m.

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Time is running out to register for this year’s Gila Valley Leadership class as the deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 5 p.m.

Applications are available at the Graham County Chamber of Commerce. For more information or to request an application, contact the Chamber at 928-428-2511, or email the staff at

With some notable exceptions, leaders are not born, they are made—oftentimes self-made. And the Gila Valley Leadership program is designed to make leaders— for your organization and for the community.

Organized by the Graham County Chamber of Commerce in 2005, GVL is designed to provide a systematic way for members of the community to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing the Gila Valley now and in the coming years.

GVL is ideal for those who are interested in becoming involved, who want to gain the tools to make more informed decisions and who want to improve their leadership skills and abilities. It is also a cost-effective way for employers to provide an excellent development opportunity for their employees.

Program Summary

GVL revolves around 10 Issue Days. The Gila Valley Leadership class convenes one day each month to learn in-depth about an important community issue. These issues may include:

• Team Building and Leadership Skills
• Education / Arts / Culture
• Agriculture
• State and Local Government
• Health Care and Human Services
• Natural Resources/Environment/Renewable Energy
• Mining
• Law Enforcement
• Astronomy
• A day at the Arizona Legislature

Learning occurs through lively discussions led by community leaders and issue experts combined with onsite tours of relevant facilities and operations.


Gila Valley Leadership is more than just talk and tours. Each GVL class creates an opportunity to put their leadership skills and knowledge to work through a significant service project benefitting the community.

Within broad guidelines, GVL class members are on their own to decide their project, organize themselves and take it to successful competition.


Participation is open to all residents of Graham and Greenlee counties. Efforts are made to select a
diverse group of participants each year from both the public, private and non-profit sectors. Accomplished high school seniors are also invited to apply.

Selection Process

GVL is designed for individuals who want to improve their leadership skills and abilities and expand their knowledge of local issues and public processes for the purpose of improving the quality of life and the future of their communities. Participants are selected through an application process on the basis of their experience and desire to serve. A committee will review applications and make selections. Interviews may be required in the selection process. The class size is limited to 20

Tuition and Value

Gila Valley Leadership is a non-profit program sponsored by the Graham County Chamber of
Commerce. Tuition for the 10-month program is just $350, which includes the cost of all materials,
travel for the tours, meals, and events.


Participation is the key to an individual’s success in the Gila Valley Leadership program. For that reason, each participant is expected to make a personal commitment to attend at least 90 percent of
the Issue Days and other GVL activities.


Upon successful completion of the GVL program, participants will graduate and become a member of the Gila Valley Leadership Alumni Organization. A graduation event will be held at the conclusion of the 10-month program.