Signature Program

The Leadership Rochester signature program is dedicated to creating and developing a legacy of leaders who will grow and serve the Greater Rochester region. The organization identifies established and emerging leaders who represent the greater Rochester community and educates them in community issues with the goal of using this in-depth knowledge to improve the Greater Rochester region. 

At Leadership Rochester we go beyond personal leadership development and prepare participants for community leadership in the Greater Rochester community.  The goal of the Leadership Rochester Signature program is to take business and organizational leaders above and beyond their organizations. 

Our goals are to:

  • To engage and cultivate civic leadership in those who represent a cross-section of business, non-profit, education, and government organizations
  • To develop a better understanding of what it means to be a community leader
  • To develop a deeper understanding of economic and social challenges in the community.
  • To learn about assets and resources strengthening the community.
  • To create an environment where class members forge a strong bond and  learn to approach challenges creatively using their collective talents and experiences

Employer Benefits

  • Strengthens the organization’s connection and participation in community affairs
  • Develops employees with increased organizational, leadership and problem-solving skills
  • Gives companies new access to a network of community leaders and resources
  • Increases name recognition for the sponsoring employer organization
  • Gives companies new insights into the challenges and opportunities in the Rochester community and how the organization may strengthen their community.

Community Benefits

  • Develops a committed, knowledgeable group of people prepared to be effective community leaders
  • Results in expanded community involvement by the participants
  • Instills a greater appreciation for the current challenges and strengths of the community

Encourages creative partnerships and initiatives between public & private sectors

Recruitment begins in March and the class is selected on a rolling basis April-July. Approximately 40-45 people are chosen per year from a selective application and interview process to participate in this nine-month program. The program begins with a 2-day opening retreat in September. Group participants then immerse themselves in a topical community issue for one Friday per month from October through May. Hands-on activities change monthly, as does the roster of relevant community leaders that offer their insights on a 360-degree view of the topic at hand. Topics range from education, health care, criminal justice to economic development. This is a tuition based program with limited scholarships available. For more information regarding the core program, see the program guide.

2019-2020 Program Dates

  • Thursday/Friday, September 12-13, 2019   Fall Retreat (Mandatory)
  • Friday, October 4, 2019
  • Friday, November 8, 2019
  • Friday, December 13, 2019
  • Friday, January 10, 2020
  • Friday, February 7, 2020
  • Thursday/Friday, March 12-13, 2020
  • Friday, April 17, 2020
  • Friday, May 8, 2020

Additional Leadership Rochester Experiences

Participants also engage in additional experiences that enhance the overall impact of the program.  These include such things as court visits, meetings with local officials, class team meetings, class service events, community networking events, etc.


Nominations are accepted year-round via email at

Applications open annually April through May. Candidate interviews are held in June.