The Leadership Development Academy is a premier leadership organization that empowers leaders to create a better place to live.

Learning and growing together

LDA is comprised of individuals, businesses and organizations interested in positively impacting our communities by providing a personal and professional empowerment experience for aspiring leaders.

We provide an opportunity for community leaders of diverse backgrounds and interests. Participants gain knowledge and business acumen, skills in community-building, and an expansive, professional network with others necessary to assume leadership roles in the rapidly changing public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Guiding Principles & Core Values


We provide excellent learning opportunities to continuously strengthen our community.


We create a fun environment that teaches organizational and communication skills through networking and mentorship.


We value individual initiative and innovation driven by quality, vision and results.


We believe in bringing attention to the diversity of the community.


We value developing respectful and responsible leaders.


We value and respect a diverse organization that promotes unity.

Mission & Vision Statements


To inspire leaders to build and strengthen our community.


To be a premier leadership organization that will empower leaders to create a better place to live.

About the program

Leadership Development Academy participants meet in early September for an orientation session with the program facilitator, followed by a high-ropes course retreat.The program continues with one full-day session per month, from October through May. Sessions explore the Rock County community and promote leadership skills using tours, guest speakers, mock sessions, case studies, role-playing, multimedia presentations and more.

Program graduates since 2003 ... and counting!
Companies who have enrolled at least one participant.
Completed projects, helping improve our communities.
Of graduates would recommend the LDA program.

Alumni at a Glance

LDA alumni are making Rock County a better place to live, work, and play!

Over half of all graduates now serve on a board of directors, and the majority of program graduates participate in community-based organizations!

Participant Testimonials

“LDA has raised my awareness and social conscience; provided me with the opportunity to touch the heart and soul of our community; deepened my appreciation; sparked my desire to help make it a better place.”
Julie Gietzel

Julie Gietzel

Blackhawk Community Credit Union, LDA Alumni

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to participate in LDA. It has helped shape and define who I am and who I want to be in the community. The best part – I’ve been able to make a difference and make some friends along the way.”

Jennifer McCarthy

Jennifer McCarthy

Baker Tilly, LDA Alumni