Identifying, Educating and Empowering Sumner County Leaders

Leadership Sumner is a personal development program designed to motivate participants to develop and enhance their leadership in addressing Sumner County needs and issues.

Founded in 1988, Leadership Sumner was formed to educate potential and active community leaders about the history, politics and culture of Sumner County and to improve the communication between all county leaders to better maintain and improve the quality of life. Well over 500 participants have graduated from the program since it began more than 25 years ago.


As good citizens it is our responsibility to use our skills and talents to improve local educational opportunities, to increase awareness of philanthropic needs, to enhance the cultural landscape and to participate in civic responsibilities.

Each spring we identify and recruit individuals who live or work in Sumner County for the upcoming class.  The best-suited candidates for Leadership Sumner are those with prior civic engagement, appropriate career experience and long-term leadership potential.


The program, which runs from September until May, focuses on six themes: Sumner County history and local government, education, health and wellness, state government, economic development and agriculture, and Sumner County law.  As participants explore these topics, they crisscross the county learning about its strengths and its needs.  

They also receive leadership training through expert-led workshops during the opening and mid-year retreats.  This combination of education and professional development equips participants to have the greatest possible impact.


Leadership Sumner provides a practical and supportive platform for community and business leaders to focus on enhancing the quality of life for all citizens of the county.  Participants are encouraged to identify areas where they can become personally involved in the community and make a positive impact.

Since its beginning in 1988 every Leadership Sumner class has helped “pay it forward” by working with the board of directors to recruit the next year’s class and shape the direction of the program.  Upon graduation new alumni commit to a year of “post-graduate” service helping recruit and select the next class, planning class retreats and program days, serving on event and alumni-related committees, and facilitating the Leadership Sumner Youth Program.

Download the Leadership Sumner Bylaws (Revision date September 9, 2017)