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We invest in people through community action.

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Leadership Mendocino

Heidi Dickerson, Program Director

Tel: (707) 467-3230

Click here for flyer and dates for 2018-19

Leadership Mendocino believes that strong communities need informed, progressive leaders. As a community-based program Leadership Mendocino creates opportunities to educate and inspire local people who believe in the future of Mendocino County and who are ready to make a difference.

Who We Serve

Since its founding in 1992 Leadership Mendocino has graduated more than 500 people through its program. These people represent more than 100 different businesses, organizations and agencies from the public, private and non-profit sectors who feel as strongly as we do about building leaders from within. Leadership Mendocino is open to you if you live or work in Mendocino County and are interested in expanding your vision of our county, its issues and its resources. At the same time, you will have the opportunity to build important network connections, travel to hidden corners of our county and take part in shaping our local future as well as your own.


Leadership Mendocino is fundamentally a self-sustaining program. Funding is generated through participant tuition, local business sponsorships and private donations. The annual program budget for Leadership Mendocino for the 2017-18 fiscal year is $84,300.

The Big Picture of Leadership Mendocino 

Each year up to 30 applicants are accepted into the Leadership Mendocino program. The program's monthly classes are held August through May, each with a different focus. As the classes move throughout Mendocino County, participants will experience a leadership skills workshop, team building, and access to an impressive network of existing leaders, visionaries and policy makers.

Beginning with a framework of leadership skill building at the opening retreat, we proceed to demonstrate leadership in action all around the county through field visits, panel presentations, brainstorming sessions, class discussions, problem-solving workshops, hands-on experiences, and role playing. By framing each class session around current issues and by calling on active leaders and experts in those areas, we are able to keep the program fresh and viable for today's challenges as we plan for tomorrow.

Leadership Graduates Serve Thousands

Although our class size is limited each year, our program has graduated hundreds of community members who have in turn served thousands of people by investing their energy and knowledge in board and service positions and projects throughout our county. Program graduates take the knowledge they gain during their time with Leadership Mendocino to become a positive, community-improving force.

"I can’t recommend Leadership Mendocino enough!  It is an excellent way to become educated about a myriad of topics within our County.   Throughout each class day, we all gained insights about the subject matter via an amazing array of business owners, other community leaders and organizers, and fellow classmates through panel discussions and exercises.  Further, LM provides an outstanding forum to connect with others who wish to make a positive impact on our community.  Often I felt like I was too busy to attend a class day, yet once there, was always awed and inspired...and thankful I made the commitment.  I have the utmost respect for my fellow classmates and for NCO for offering a program such as this. The Leadership Mendocino experience is truly invaluable!"                                                                                  Jamie Peters (Class XXII), KOZT & Winesong