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The Kennebec Leadership Institute (KLI) goal is to assure a continuing flow of able, committed, and resourceful leaders to serve our communities. As the oldest leadership program in the state, KLI draws prospective leaders from a broad cross-section of businesses, organizations, and the community. Its purpose is to inspire these promising individuals to work more effectively within their spheres of influence while expanding their civic and community participation. 

 2023 Application Form

What is the Kennebec Leadership Institute?
KLI is the oldest leadership program in the state of Maine

The program was designed to:

  • Promote the development of critical skills needed by future leaders through interactive workshops, assignments, and community interaction
  • Build the motivation of participants to assume responsible leadership positions in business, civic, and community organizations in the Kennebec Valley
  • Build awareness among future leaders of the diversity, strengths, resources, and concerns of the Kennebec Valley
  • Establish a network of capable, committed leaders ready to take on new challenges and opportunities in the ever-changing business and community life of the Kennebec Valley

KLI seeks to foster a network of leaders committed to understanding and improving the Kennebec Valley. Past graduates have successfully run for office, gained promotion in their companies, served on boards of directors throughout the community, started their own business in the community, and chaired a myriad of civic and community groups.

Complete program overview for 2023 coming soon!

Every session is mandatory, and any absence will be considered case-by-case basis.

Time Commitment

The program consists of 14- weeks of instruction. 

Complete KLI schedule for 2023 coming soon!

Who should participate?
Over 600 alumni have already benefited from KLI.

The Kennebec Leadership Institute is open to individuals living or working in the Kennebec Valley. Anyone with interest in community betterment is welcome to apply. Applicants do not currently need to be in a leadership position. The only requirement is a sincere commitment from the employee and employer to building skills and knowledge and becoming a more active participant in the future of the Kennebec Valley.

Participants must commit to participating and completing all program requirements during the 14-week program, including:

What role does the participant's manager play?
A manager's support and coaching is the key to employee growth.

The research is detailed: the number-one success factor in building an employee's skills is the involvement of the direct supervisor. This is especially true when the employee participates in a formal offsite training program. However, skills building does not end in the classroom – it begins there. That's why the Kennebec Leadership Institute offers a unique feature that most programs do not: easy-to-use coaching guides for the participant's direct manager to use both before and after an employee attends a workshop.

Why does this guidance matter?

For the participant

  • Increased motivation and commitment
  • Better retention and understanding of the skills learned in class
  • Increased likelihood that the participant will use what was learned

For the manager (and the participant's organization)

  • Valuable insight into the participant's character, skills, work ethic, and potential
  • More skilled employees
  • Better coaching and communication skills for the manager
  • Better employee retention – employees who feel invested in are more likely to stay with their organization

What will the participant's manager do?

Managers will receive a Coaching Guide for each workshop. Here is what the participant's direct manager, supervisor or coach is expected to do to make sure the employee gets the full benefit of the program:

✓ Before each leadership skill-building workshop, have a quick but targeted conversation with the employee to discuss expectations and possible skills gaps. Managers will receive a step-by-step coaching guide for this conversation. Make sure the employee has completed all pre-workshop activities.

✓ After each workshop, debrief the participant on what they learned and how they intend to put this learning into action. Coach and encourage the employee as they practice these new skills!

How do I apply?

Tuition for the 2023 Kennebec Leadership Institute is $1,500. In addition, partial scholarships may be available; call the Chamber of Commerce for details. Meals for full-day workshops are included; don't hesitate to contact the Chamber in advance concerning any dietary needs or restrictions.


 Kennebec Leadership Institute 2022
Class XXXV

KLI Class Photo 2022 resized  KLI2022GraduationPhoto

Melissa Adams, MaineGeneral Health
Heather Allen, Sprague and Curtis Real Estate
Rachel Boynton, New Ventures Maine
Stephanie Buck, Bread of Life Ministries
Caulie Burns, The University of Maine at Augusta
Ariel Cassista, The University of Maine at Augusta
Heather Ewen, Kennebec Savings Bank
Michael Keighley, MaineGeneral Health
Josh LaVerdiere, Sprague and Curtis Real Estate
Steve Mattice, Kennebec Technologies
Nichole Mullens, City of Augusta
Sean Pooler, Performance Foodservice NorthCenter
Charlie Porter, Maine Savings FCU
Melanie Randall, Kennebec Valley Humane Society
Emily Theriault, Pouliot Real Estate
Jacob Violette, Central Maine Power Co.
Jamie Morin, KLI Facilitator, Synchrony Point Coaching and Consulting


Sponsorships are available for the 2023 KLI program! Contact  if you are interested in sponsoring. 


Thank you to our Kennebec Leadership Institute Sponsors!



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