(FLINT, Mich., Dec. 21, 2015) – Leadership NOW – Optimizing Leadership Effectiveness is seeking qualified candidates for its intensive, yearlong leadership development program, which kicks off March 17.

The competitive program is designed for executives, board members, elected officials and other business professionals who want to build their leadership skills and learn how to develop effective partnerships and collaborative initiatives.

“Our community needs a network of leaders who can work together to bring positive change to Flint and Genesee,” said George Wilkinson, Group Vice President at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, which administers the program in partnership with United Way of Genesee County. “Leadership NOW addresses that need by cultivating the professional growth of high-potential leaders from the region’s public, private and nonprofit sectors.”

Up to 20 applicants will be selected for the program, during which they will undergo an in-depth leadership assessment, 10 hours of one-on-one coaching and 72 hours of training. Participants will also develop and implement a collaborative project that addresses a challenge, reduces costs or improves a procedure for local businesses, nonprofits and/or municipalities.

Earlier this year, Leadership NOW launched its first session, which recently reached the curriculum’s halfway-point. Participant Pharlon Randle said he’s already seeing the benefits.

“It’s been an amazing learning experience,” said Randle, who owns Bangtown Productions & Recordings in Flint. "For instance, I’m trying to establish a board for my nonprofit, Studio on the GO. By learning about what makes an effective team through Leadership NOW, I have a better idea of the kinds of people that should be represented on the board. There has to be a good mix of perspectives and leadership styles.”

Applicants for the program’s second session are required to attend one of six recruitment sessions, to be held at the Chamber offices, at 519 S. Saginaw St., Flint, and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, at 500 S. Saginaw St., Flint.

Upcoming dates include:

Applications are due Jan. 29.

Leadership NOW is made possible with support from the Ruth Mott Foundation, C.S. Mott Foundation, Mott Community College and Baker College.

For more information about Leadership NOW, read these fast facts. To register for a recruitment session, visit www.flintandgenesee.org/recruitment.