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We invest in people through Community Action.

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Leadership Mendocino

Leadership Mendocino believes that strong communities need informed, progressive leaders. 

Leadership Mendocino is a program of North Coast Opportunities. Leadership Mendocino seeks to strengthen our communities by developing a diverse group of people who will get involved and make a difference. 

Holly Madrigal, Program Director

Tel: (707) 467-3230 or 707-841-0612 (textable)

Applications for Class XXVIII are open now.  The deadline HAS BEEN EXTENDED to July 30th, 5:00pm.

Click here to download an application.

Mail or deliver the application to:
Holly Madrigal Program Director, Leadership Mendocino 
Attn: Leadership Mendocino, 413 N. State Street, Ukiah, CA  95482 
or FAX to: (707) 462-0191 

The safety of our class members and speakers is of the highest priority. The intention is to move forward with in-person meetings in compliance with Mendocino County Health Orders. 

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 nearly 700 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 2020-2021 fiscal year is $104, 372.

The Big Picture of Leadership Mendocino 

Each year a core group of 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 policymakers.

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.

"Having grown up and been a single mom in Covelo, Leadership Mendocino was a life-changing experience. My eyes were opened to new ideas, unseen beauty, innovate thinking, and expanded relationships. I was closed-minded to so many thoughts and ideas prior to the class. My knowledge of carbon credits was no more extensive than the ignorant belief that it was about a bunch of “hippies” trying to put loggers out of business. On the day that we visited Gualala I learned about the complex relationship between the loggers, the foresters, and the exchange of carbon credits. Each class day I learned something new from Factory Pipe manufacturing to art on the Mendocino Coast. When Covelo day arrived, I was able to listen and hear and see things that I could not hear and see before. I released a profound amount of bitterness and pain and allowed acceptance, understanding, and empathy to fill my heart and soul that day."    Traci Boyl Class XXII, City of Ukiah