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 develop their inherent qualities to propel Washington into greater prosperity. The ultimate goal is to instill passion in our emerging leaders while fostering a higher 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 many segments of society that make Washington a great place to live. Through this new awareness, the program equips leaders to better appreciate and understand the depth and breadth 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 held on the second Wednesday of the month from approximately 8am – 5pm and are subject to change.

Topics cover the various levels of local government, businesses, agriculture, industries and more in our community. The tentative calendar can be found below. 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 June 1st. Class selection is first-come, with priority given to Chamber members.


Return application to: Chamber of Commerce, 205 West Main Street, Washington, Iowa 52353 or, email your application to: [email protected]

Tuition is $300 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, History, Social Services, Education, Government, Health and Fitness and Agriculture. 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 31 classes and approximately 775 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 2019 – 2020

Alyx Dietz: Federation Bank
Angela Goodwin: YMCA of Washington
Angela Langstraat: Hills Bank
Anna Nacos: WCHC
Bill Monroe: Washington Chamber of Commerce
Brock Sobaski: WCHS
Brooke Hanson: Washington State Bank
Caleb Miller: Community 1st Credit Union

David Collins: WEDG
Erin Kaye: United Presbyterian Church
Heather Hora: Self-Employed
Jamie Ferski: EBD
Jim Lester: City of Washington Police Department
Jonathon Ward: Paneless Window Cleaning
Jordan Hill: US Bank
Kara Rodgers: Washington State Bank
Lino Villa: EBD

Olivia Pacha: Knee Deep Solutions
Patty Koller: Washington County Riverboat Foundation
Renee Pfeifer: WCDC, Inc.
Rory White: KCTC
Samantha Meyer: WCHC
Tania Villa: State Farm-Scott Lujan
Teresa Long: Wasihngton County Treasurer
Tyler Cain: iTech
Willie Stone: Washington CSD

Class Schedule for 2021 – 2022

Sept. 8

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. 13

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. 10

Education Day

Visit local education & support facilities and discuss today’s education issues with administration and staff.

Dec. 8


Health & Fitness Day | 8am-5pm

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


Jan. 12

Business & Industry Day  | 8am-5pm

Learn about Washington’s businesses and industries including a tour of a Washington manufacturing business.


Feb. 9

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, the new Communications Center, Police Station, County Courthouse, City Hall and Fire Department.

March 9

Agriculture Day | 8am-5pm

Tour area farming operations and learn about the impact of agriculture on our community.

April 13

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 11


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

2017 2016 2018 2019
Dr. Monie Hayes Amanda Altenhofen Alisha Davis Cheryl Richardson
John W. Green Angie Schluetter Alycia Horras Jolene M. Colthurst
David Klinzman Ashley Fowler Amber Day Kelly Grout
Jaime Carpenter Becky Mougin Andy Greiner Jennifer Moore
Mickey Jones Brett Antczak Anthony Lauber Woody Harden
Whitney Paul Brittany Gavin Beth Dillon
Devon Wendler Alvord
Kim Ecklor Cale Rausch Brian Roder Ron See
Jake Thomsen Christie Antczak Casey Peck Nan Bates DDS
Kurt Sorenson Jeremy Redlinger Connor Jarrard Julie See
Erik Murphy Jim Ross David Hoffman Marissa Reisen
Jessie Buchholz Jodi Covington Hannah Petterson Jenny Morgan
Adam McLaughlin Jodi Latcham Isabel Bailey Chloe Barnes
Amy Schneider Kaitlyn Love Jeff Garrett Bryna Walker
Seth Adam Kelly Dougall Justin Gesling Rachel Gilliam
Linda Krotz Kelsey Liska Kara Williams Erin Drahota
Amber Trettin Kevin Dunbar Karla Friesen Maureen Howard
Angie Wellington Meagan Wagner Kayla Nelson Jared Long
Patrick Gavin Megan Tomlin Liz McLaughlin Deb Wagler
Bob Redlinger Nayra Lujano Melanie Rothe Gretchen Teske
John Redlinger Shawn Redlinger Rhonda Reed Mary Ann White
Debbie Farrow Wally Wolanin Jr. Rob Gavin Julie Stout
Genie Davis Zach Haworth Rob Redlinger Leah Marek
Ben Rothe Sean Cortum Megan Hangartner
Teri Altenhofen Elaine Moore
Evan Horak