Program Commitments

The Leadership Sumner class year runs from September until May.  The year includes an overnight retreat in September, a half-day retreat in January, and full-day program days each month from October – December and February – May.  

Participants may miss one program day during the year, but attendance is mandatory for both retreats.  Registration is limited.  Please do not apply if you cannot fulfill this commitment.  

The $750 tuition for 2020 – 2021 includes retreat lodging & meals, resource materials, day program transportation, breakfasts, lunches and snacks.

Fall Retreat

The program year begins with an overnight retreat (Friday-Saturday) in Mid-September at Fit Farm in Castalian Springs.  Class members learn about different types of leadership, leadership attributes and individual leadership styles through a series of ice-breaking exercises, team-building activities, a personality analysis and self-assessments.  Gathering around the campfire for social hour is a highlight of the Fall Retreat.  Casual attire is the rule. 

Mid-Year Retreat

The Mid-Year Retreat is a half-day program held on a Saturday in early January at the main campus of Volunteer State Community College.  Classmates review highlights and takeaways from the first four months of the class year, discuss their independent reading assignments and observations made while attending meetings of the board of education, county commission and city council, and participate in facilitated exercises to enhance their leadership skills.

Program Days

Program days, which are designed to promote interest and awareness of local issues and challenges, provide a rare opportunity to interact with community leaders in government and educational, business, civic, and nonprofit organizations.  

Class members make site visits throughout the county during program days where they observe, learn about, and discuss the challenges and opportunities related to the day’s thematic subject.  Program day highlights include facility tours, panel discussions, workshops, Q & A sessions, and presentations by leading educators, innovative business executives, first responders, elected officials and healthcare professionals.  

Program days take place on the second Wednesday of the month from October – December and February – May.  The Mid-Year Retreat substitutes for the January program day.  Program days typically run from 7:30 am until 4:30 pm.  

Participants may miss only one program day during the year.  We encourage candidates to review the program day requirement with their employers before submitting applications to Leadership Sumner.

Business casual is appropriate dress for most program days.  Closed-toe shoes and slacks are required for Law Day. Professional attire is mandatory during State Government Day.  In respect for those who make themselves available to Leadership Sumner during program days, we ask class members to restrict their cell phone use to designated break times only.