Leadership Programs

We foster up-and-coming leaders to prepare them for challenges and opportunities facing Northwest Arkansas. Our programming offers development of leadership skills and competencies, education on local community issues and resources, and hands-on experience applying learnings in the real world.

The result is a source of diverse leaders for the region. These leaders make an impact by serving as catalysts for positive change and sustainers of our region’s quality of life.

The Chamber creates opportunities for high impact leadership development via three successful programs: First Leadership, Leadership Benton County and Northwest Arkansas Emerging Leaders. Learn more by contacting Ross Phillips, Vice President of Community Development at (479) 636-1240 or ross@rogerslowell.com.


ARVEST First Leadership (AFL) invests in the future of our community by providing an innovative, student-focused program promoting personal growth and leadership development opportunities. This free program introduces students to leadership skills and competencies, builds self-esteem, explores career paths and develops interpersonal skills. It runs from September – April each year and convenes monthly.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors residing in Rogers are eligible to apply, and should meet the following requirements: a minimum 2.5 GPA; demonstrated leadership potential; commitment to maintaining passing grades in all courses during participation in the program; and the ability to attend all sessions. Other desired qualities include a passion for community involvement, the ability to work well with peers, and a positive influence on peers.

AFL requires a significant time commitment; we ask that you are aware of that and have full support before applying. Participants are expected to attend every session. however, we understand that some situations are out of the participant's control. Absence of more than two sessions may require your dismissal from the program. 

The application period for 2019-2020 ended August 30, 2019.

Download an application form and submit now to be considered for the 2020-21 program. 


The Leadership Benton County (LBC) program provides leadership training specific to the regional issues facing the county and serves as the Chamber’s training ground for future leaders.

Participants convene monthly from January to September.

Goals of the 11-session program include identification and motivation of individuals with leadership potential; acquainting participants with community needs, challenges and opportunities; offering a forum for dealing with community issues; and challenging future leaders to become involved with local issues and the process of decision-making.

Sessions focus on local and county government, education, economy, human services, health care, quality of life, state government, regional issues, and leadership skills and theories.

LBC is open to persons 21 years of age or older, living and/or working in Benton County. The selection committee seeks representation from a cross-section of the county, reflecting the diversity of the area. Participants should have a strong interest and commitment to serving the Northwest Arkansas region. Applicants should also have the full support of their family and employer, as the program requires a significant time and money commitment. Tuition covers all sessions, materials, speaker and instructor fees, field trips, overnight lodging, meals, refreshments, and tours. 

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The NWA Emerging Leaders (NWAEL) program is offered to dedicated professionals actively engaged in the Northwest Arkansas community. The program develops candidates for public and private boards, commissions and leadership opportunities and grooms individuals to serve and lead our growing and diverse regional community.

At a minimum, participants will be invited to attend four NWAEL programs annually (quarterly) related to topics such as leadership, service and non-partisan government affairs.

Members are also encouraged to join teams on specific topics, with each team holding monthly meetings or service opportunities. At a maximum, an individual serving as an officer or committee member might attend two to three meetings per month.

 Our regional community has a reputation for working together for the ultimate good of all.

As Northwest Arkansas continues to evolve and attract talent to the region from throughout the nation and world,  NWAEL has become a critical program for recruiting, informing and engaging the future leaders of our community.

Participants and the companies that they serve receive immense value through the level of information and access provided through NWAEL programming.

NWA Emerging Leaders is an initiative of the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber membership is not required for participation.

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