Valley Leadership Reimagines Its Approach to Leadership Training with the Goal of Engaging More Arizonans Than Ever to Lead

May 11, 2021
News and Announcements

Valley Leadership has reimagined its leadership development model to attract and prepare a pipeline of Arizonans who are committed to leading and making a difference on the most pressing issues in our state.

For us, it’s simple. Leadership is an action, and if you’re ready and willing to do something to better Arizona, then we want to be a place for you to learn and grow. And, with these new offerings, our goal is to open up our doors to as many leaders as possible.

VL CEO Dave Brown

Past VL programs, including Institute, Accelerate and most recently, Ready Together, will not be part of VL offerings going forward. When VL pressed pause on all in-person learning experiences last year due to the pandemic, it created an opportunity to focus on how the organization could create opportunities for more Arizonans to lead – and do so in a way that promotes greater access and inclusion, taking into consideration time, location, cost and experience.

When the Phoenix 40 launched Valley Leadership, they did so with the belief that strong leadership is the key to a community’s success. That hasn’t changed, but how we lead, and how we engage more people to do so, has. That’s why I’m grateful that VL has kept pressing forward, always looking for new ways to develop and cultivate our state’s leaders.

Bill Post, Chair of VL’s Impact Maker Impact Council

Each new program has been carefully crafted, drawing on best practices from across the country, to make leadership development programming as relevant as possible, considering factors such as Arizona’s rapid growth, how best to incorporate virtual learning and how to engage leaders from across a state as diverse as Arizona.

Arizonans who are ready to make a difference in their community are encouraged to apply to Catalyze – the first of VL’s new offerings – which will begin in September. Participants will grow their connections to the people and issues that impact Arizona, while gaining new skills and experiences. With a virtual format and multiple session dates, Catalyze participants will be able to engage when and where it works best for them – and will have the opportunity to deepen relationships through in-person and virtual social events. Each participant leaves with a commitment and a plan for how to get more engaged in the community – including through Impact Maker, a collaborative community venture housed at VL that mobilizes Arizonans to create long-term change on the issues of the day.

Applications for Catalyze are open until July 13 at 

The public is invited to learn more about the new programs through two virtual and one in-person event:

  • Interactive Webinar: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., May 20. RSVP at 
  • In-person Reception: 6 to 7 p.m., June 7 at the Desert Botanical Garden. RSVP at 
    Please note this event will be hosted in accordance with CDC, local and state guidelines. Face coverings are required to enter the DBG.
  • Interactive Webinar: Noon to 1 p.m., June 15. RSVP at

Valley Leadership is committed to empowering a broad spectrum of Arizonans to lead. That’s why we’re focused not just on growing our opportunities, but on growing opportunities that help Arizonans become effective, inclusive leaders who can move the needle on the issues facing the community.   

VL Board President Michelle McGinty

Following Catalyze, VL will launch two other programs, Explore and Summit. Explore takes people out of their community to get to know the great diversity of the state and the people who call it home. Participants will expand their perspective, have the time and space to forge strong relationships and build connections in all corners of the state through this experience. Summit helps leaders deepen their understanding of an issue that has tremendous impact on that state and its residents. Our most flexible program offering, participants can take their knowledge and start putting it to work right away in their career, community or Impact Maker. Catalyze or a previous VL program experience is a prerequisite to taking part in these programs. More details on these programs will follow in the fall.

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