Leadership for Five Seasons

Leadership for Five Seasons

Leadership for Five Seasons (LFS) is a premier community leadership program that focuses on developing top talent through a formal leadership curriculum. LFS provides participants with community knowledge, connections and inspiration to make a positive impact on the community. Participants are selected from area businesses, public and private agencies, civic and other organizations. The LFS Class of 2018 marks the 35th anniversary of the program, which now includes: Adult, College & Intern, Executive, and Youth programs.

Leadership for Five Seasons values diversity and inclusion. We highly encourage individuals representing diverse cultural, racial, religious, social, economic and industry sectors (e.g. business, government, non-profit and academia) to apply.

The LFS alumni network is over 1,200 strong. Check out the Economic Alliance’s events calendar for Leadership for Five Seasons Alumni networking opportunities!


Click here to view the participant list for LFS Adult Class of 2019!

Each year, 35 individuals are selected to participate in the Adult program. The ten-month program runs from August through May. This unique program empowers participants with a comprehensive understanding of our community’s challenges and opportunities, providing broader knowledge and their role as engaged citizens.

Participants will gain:

  • Enhanced understanding of themselves and their leadership style
  • Examples of innovation happening in the community
  • Connections to key area leaders
  • Greater sense of pride for the community
  • An inspired heart to give back and grow beyond the program

Participants must:

  • Commit to the ten-month program including an evening orientation and an overnight retreat
  • Desire to improve leadership skills and gain community knowledge
  • Be employed by an Economic Alliance member business (if not currently associated, participants must join if selected for the program)

What to expect:

  • The program kicks off with a two-day leadership retreat based on curriculum used by most by Masters programs throughout the country, The Leadership Challenge and the LPI360 survey tool.

o To prepare for the retreat, participants will be given a book (The Leadership Challenge) and asked to take self and peer assessments that will be woven into curriculum through the entire program.

o At the retreat, participants will discuss leadership styles, analyze their LPI360 results and create a customized leadership plan.

  • Participants will attend nine full-day monthly leadership days to learn about an area of economic opportunity and quality of life, hear about challenges facing the community and connect with community leaders. The leadership days are as follows:
    • History Day
    • Agriculture Day
    • Arts & Culture Day
    • Entrepreneurial Day
    • Human Needs
    • Government Day
    • Economic Development Day
    • Education Day
    • Health Care Day
  • In the final two months of the program, participants will have an opportunity to retake their LPI360 self and peer assessments. They will spend a half day evaluating the progress they have made.
  • The program ends with the completion of a class project to fulfill an area of need in the community. Examples of past projects include planting trees, raising money and building learning nature trails, putting up inspirational quotes in middle schools, etc. This project serves as a catalyst for the ongoing engagement we hope each participant will carry out through the remainder of their life in our community.

About LPI

Over three million people have taken steps towards their personal leadership best with the Leadership Practices Inventory® (LPI®), a 360-degree assessment tool by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. Based on The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® model, the 360-degree assessments and facilitator materials illuminate both the effectiveness of your leaders and the level of commitment, engagement, and satisfaction of those that follow.

No matter where leaders are along their leadership development journey, the LPI will support the important work for developing, nurturing and empowering emerging leaders.

About Leadership Curriculum:

Each member of the class receives The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by James Kouzes and Barry Posner

Each session focuses on one of the five leadership principles. Monthly workshops are hosted to dive deeper into the principle and the participants LPI


The continued support of LFS Alumni promotes and develops leaders in ICR Iowa as well as:

  • Supporting the LFS Youth program
  • Provides continued networking opportunities - socially, professionally and personally
  • Ensuring LFS Adult program is representative of all sectors, including non-profit and small business
  • Continuing to keep reasonable tuition costs for all LFS programs
  • Access and participation to the LFS Alumni LinkedIn group
  • Free attendance to the Spring Luncheon, Holiday Breakfast
  • Reduced admission cost to LFS Annual golf Outing
  • Ongoing exclusive volunteer opportunities across all the Leadership for Five Seasons programs (Youth, College, Adult, Executive, Board of Advisors and Alumni)
  • Ongoing leadership and professional development opportunities
  • Community impact

Thank you to all our Lifetime LFS Alumni:

Todd Barker
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Michelle Beisker Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation
Doyle Butler DuPont Industrial Biosciences
Debra Callahan Skogman Realty
Tara DeWolf Raining Rose, Inc.
Casey Ealy Strategic Print Solutions
Chris Fischer Holmes Murphy & Associates
Sandi Fowler City of Cedar Rapids
Deborah Gulick Kris G. Gulick CPA, P.L.C/Entrepreneurial Services Group LLC
Kris Gulick Kris G. Gulick CPA, P.L.C.
Kimberly Hillyard RSM US LLP
Tricia Hoffman-Simanek Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C.
Anthony Jensen Cedar Rapids Community School District
James Klein Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust
Lindsay Leahy Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance
Shawn Lueth Shive-Hattery Inc.
Doug Neumann Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance
Paul Phelan Phelan's
Trace Pickering Iowa BIG
Kevin Platz Cedar Rapids Area Association of Realtors
Casey Prince UFG Insurance
Brian Rosteck Skogman Commercial
Megan Schulte Frontier Co-Op
David Sorg OPN Architects Inc.
Jason Vestweber Skogman Realty
Sarah Watson Clickstop, Inc.
Dave Zahradnik Neumann Monson Architects
Kyle Zimmerman Securian Advisors MidAmerica, Inc.


The Executive program offers a shortened version of the highly successful Adult program. Executives and their spouses/partners whom are new to the area can join the shortened, eight sessions. The program is designed to help individuals to form networks with other executives in the community, as well as educate them about Cedar Rapids and ICR Iowa by connecting them to valuable resources within the community.

College & Intern

The LFS College & Intern Program is a way for companies and organizations to engage their summer interns/co-ops on a broader community level and gets them involved outside of the organization. Interns need to see what it's like to live here before they decide to stay and know their employer values their growth. That's why this year's program has two parts: the Internship Summer Series and Quality of Life events.

Internship Summer Series
Higher learning institutions play an important role in retaining young talent. Presented in conjunction with Coe College, the Economic Alliance is collaborating with area business leaders to share their advice and insight. Interns will also hear from experts on relevant topics like time management, networking, professional branding, team building in a diverse workplace and more.

Quality of Life events are designed to connect interns outside of the office and showcase some of our community's amazing quality of life amenities.

  • Intern Welcome Reception - Thursday, June 14 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., Coe College
    • Interns will network, kick back with yard games, fill up on BBQ and treats and receive a special welcome from business community leaders.
  • Intern Progressive Dinner (registration opening soon!) - Evening of Saturday, July 21, Downtown Cedar Rapids + surrounding neighborhoods
    • This is a popular event every summer. The downtown area has amazing, local restaurants, so we’re putting them center stage.

Economic Alliance members can register for all events on our Events Calendar. Questions? Contact Jordan Atwater, Leadership and Business Programs Specialist at jatwater@cedarrapids.org or 319.730.1412.


Click here to view the participant list for LFS Youth Class of 2018!

The Leadership for Five Seasons - Youth Program identifies and selects 40 Cedar Rapids Metro area high school students that demonstrate leadership qualities and have a concern for their community. Eight days of in-depth programming acquaints students with community needs, opportunities, problems, and resources, while allowing interaction with community leaders, decision makers and each other. While fostering mutual respect and an interest in voluntary community activities, the students strengthen their leadership skills. The inaugural LFS Youth class participated in 1994 making 2017 the 23rd year of the program. The LFS Youth program will take place August 2017 - March 2018.

To learn more about any of the Leadership for Five Seasons programs, contact Jordan Atwater at jatwater@cedarrapids.org. There are also many opportunities to volunteer with LFS. It’s a great way to stay connected to the program, as well as with classmates.

To learn more about any of the Leadership for Five Seasons programs, contact Jordan Atwater at jatwater@cedarrapids.org. There are also many opportunities to volunteer with LFS. It’s a great way to stay connected to the program, as well as with classmates. Contact Us today for volunteer opportunity information.

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