A Leader Is One Who Knows the Way, Goes the Way, and Shows the Way

The Chamber is proud to host Leadership Washington, a nine session program designed to educate civic-minded individuals about current issues and concerns which face the Washington Area. The nominees get the inside look at:

  • Economic Development and Finance
  • Education
  • Health/Recreation
  • Business and Industry
  • City and County Government
  • Agriculture
  • County History

The program helps to build, strengthen and educate current and future leaders in our home town.

Leadership Washington is a premier community-awareness program promoting leadership within Washington. We educate, inform, and inspire participants to bring out their inherent quality to understand how we can best propel Washington into greater prosperity. The ultimate goal is to instill passion in our current emerging leaders while fostering a high level of civic engagement.

Since its inception in 1989, Leadership Washington has graduated hundreds of men and women from both the private and public sector. This diverse group of alumni represents every industry in the community and virtually all walks of life.

Thank YOU both for all the hard work you put into Leadership Washington.  I have NEVER been in such a great program that offered so much learning and FUN!  We are so lucky to be part of this great community. Just wanted to say THANK YOU to you both!  What a fun rewarding job you get to do everyday!


-Jenny Morgan, Elliott Realty, Leadership Washington Class of 2018-2019

Leadership Washington gives its participants a wide range of exposure and insights into the industries that make Washington a great place to live. Through this enhancement of awareness, the program equips leaders to better appreciate and understand the condition of the community. What’s more, those selected for the program build a ‘network’ with fellow participants that reaches across geographic, professional, and economic lines. This network is personally enriching far beyond the program year.

A real ‘eye-opener,’ Leadership Washington gives its participants a full-spectrum vision of the community. A new perspective on its people, its needs, and most importantly, its opportunities.


Leadership Washington hosts an integrated series of nine monthly sessions in different regions of the community. The program begins in September and runs through May. Classes are the second Wednesday of the month from September through May from approximately 8am – 5pm and are subject to change.

Topics cover the various industries present in our community and the tentative calendar can be found on the next page. As you consider applying to the program, please review the session dates for the year. Leadership Washington places the highest priority on full participation. It is important that all applicants make the necessary adjustments to accommodate the program schedule in order to attend the entire day. Please review personal and professional calendars.


To become part of this distinct group of leaders, please submit your application by July 1st. Return application to: Chamber of Commerce, 205 West Main Street, Washington, Iowa 52353 or, email your application to: info@washingtoniowa.org

Tuition is $250.00 for Chamber Members. We encourage a limit of one class member per business. Non-chamber members will be accepted only if space allows for an additional $50.00. Chamber Bucks will be awarded at the end of the year to those with perfect attendance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Leadership Washington is an intensive nine session program designed to educate civic-minded individuals about current issues and concerns which face the Washington area. Each of the nine sessions takes on a different theme to create a diverse area of knowledge about what goes on in Washington County including Economic Development, Social Services, Education, Government, Health Care, and Tourism. Meetings are held once a month on the second Wednesday, typically from 8am – 5pm, in various areas in the community.
Leadership Washington started in 1989 with the 1989-1990 class. There have been 28 classes and approximately 700 graduates of Leadership Washington since that time.
Leadership Washington classes are selected from nominees who submit applications to the program. Nominees can be by referral or self-nomination and must be residents of Washington County or work in Washington County.
Each year, not more than a total of 25 men and women are selected to participate in Leadership Washington classes. The intimate class size allows for an optimal learning experience and develops lasting friendships and businesses associations.
Unfortunately no, your nominating letter is a great first step, and one that you should be proud to receive. The next step is filling out and sending in the application; only when this is accomplished will a candidate be considered for the next class.
In August of each year, class members are notified of their acceptance into the program and asked to make a commitment to participate.
Attendance is critical to the success of the Leadership Washington experience. Class members who miss any part of a class may be asked to attend a session in the following year in order to complete the necessary requirements for the program. All applicants must understand that attendance is very high priority.

Class members of 2018 – 2019

Cheryl Richardson Washington Community Schools
Jolene M. Colthurst Washington County Treasurer
Kelly Grout KCTC
Jennifer Moore JW Vittetoe Pork
Woody Harden Washington Community Schools
Devon Wendler Alvord Shawn McCarty State Farm
Ron See Washington Police Dept.
Nan Bates DDS Dental House of Washington
Julie See LattaHarris LLP

Marissa Reisen Washington County Emergency Management Agency
Jenny Morgan Elliott Realty Group
Chloe Barnes Washington State Bank
Bryna Walker Washington Public Library
Rachel Gilliam US Bank
Erin Drahota UP Home
Maureen Howard Lutheran Church
Jared Long UP Church
Deb Wagler City of Washington

Gretchen Teske Washington Evening Journal
Mary Ann White WCDC, Inc.
Julie Stout Delong Construction
Leah Marek Washington High School Student
Megan Hangartner Modern Eye Care
Elaine Moore Hills Bank
Evan Horak Washington High School Student

Class Schedule for 2017 – 2018

Sept. 12

Orientation and City History Day | 9am-5pm

This will be your opportunity to learn about the upcoming class sessions and meet your class members. Enjoy lunch with the class, and take off for a tour around the city to learn about the history of Washington.

Oct. 10

Economic Development and Finance Day | 8am-5pm

Tour the Washington Municipal Airport and the community, talk with WEDG/Chamber/Main Street, and learn about the local financial system.

Nov. 14

Education Day

Visit local education & support facilities as well as discuss today’s education issues with administration and staff. Don’t forget about extra curricular activities; we will also take a look at these facilities.

Dec. 12

Health & Fitness Day | 8am-5pm

Explore the Washington County Hospital & Clinics and get a first hand look at Washington’s Ambulance Service, Community Y, and Washington’s recreational facilities.

Jan. 9

Business, Industry Day and Media Day | 8am-5pm

Learn about Washington’s businesses and industries; including a tour of a Washington manufacturing business. In addition, you will see behind the scenes at the Washington Evening Journal and KCII Radio.

Feb. 13

City and County Government Day | 8am-5pm

Experience the ins and outs of Washington’s City & County Governance. You will get an insider look at the County Jail, Safety Center, Police Station, County Courthouse and City Hall and Fire Department.

March 13

Agriculture Day | 8am-5pm

Tour area farming operations and learn how progressive and innovative our agricultural community is.

April 10

County History Day | 8am-5pm

Traditionally, one of the highlights of the year. You will spend the day with Mike Zahs touring Washington County. You will visit old towns, Indian burial mounds and have an Amish meal.

May 8


You will receive your class photo, certificate of completion and hear from a distinguished speaker over celebratory hors d’oeuvres and drinks; time & location TBA.

*This schedule is tentative. Subject to change if necessary.

Previous Graduating Classes

Dr. Monie HayesAmanda AltenhofenAlisha DavisCheryl Richardson
John W. GreenAngie SchluetterAlycia HorrasJolene M. Colthurst
David KlinzmanAshley FowlerAmber DayKelly Grout
Jaime CarpenterBecky MouginAndy GreinerJennifer Moore
Mickey JonesBrett AntczakAnthony LauberWoody Harden
Whitney PaulBrittany GavinBeth Dillon
Devon Wendler Alvord
Kim EcklorCale RauschBrian RoderRon See
Jake ThomsenChristie AntczakCasey PeckNan Bates DDS
Kurt SorensonJeremy RedlingerConnor JarrardJulie See
Erik MurphyJim RossDavid HoffmanMarissa Reisen
Jessie BuchholzJodi CovingtonHannah PettersonJenny Morgan
Adam McLaughlinJodi LatchamIsabel BaileyChloe Barnes
Amy SchneiderKaitlyn LoveJeff GarrettBryna Walker
Seth AdamKelly DougallJustin GeslingRachel Gilliam
Linda KrotzKelsey LiskaKara WilliamsErin Drahota
Amber TrettinKevin DunbarKarla FriesenMaureen Howard
Angie WellingtonMeagan WagnerKayla NelsonJared Long
Patrick GavinMegan TomlinLiz McLaughlinDeb Wagler
Bob RedlingerNayra LujanoMelanie RotheGretchen Teske
John RedlingerShawn RedlingerRhonda ReedMary Ann White
Debbie FarrowWally Wolanin Jr.Rob GavinJulie Stout
Genie DavisZach HaworthRob RedlingerLeah Marek
Ben RotheSean CortumMegan Hangartner
Teri AltenhofenElaine Moore
Evan Horak