Leadership St. Pete
As one of the oldest leadership programs in America and a division of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership St. Pete® seeks to identify, recruit and develop leaders who represent the diversity of our local community. Through a dynamic, intensive, interactive, six-month experience, Leadership St. Pete is customized to provide a curriculum that enhances community acumen to develop the future leaders who will assume roles in the Chamber and other community organizations.
Supported by the Bay Area Chamber Foundation, LSP challenges its class members to view issues in our community, state, and nation as opportunities. Through class interaction and discussions with community leaders, LSP stimulates creative thinking, and, ultimately, community leaders emerge with new resources and knowledge to face their everyday challenges.
LSP includes three leadership development events: Opening Retreat, Mid-year Retreat, and Closing Retreat. Provided by the Eckerd College Leadership Development Institute, class members receive high-quality, assessment-based leadership development designed to help individuals, teams, and organizations achieve their full potential. Participants enjoy high energy, team building activities with immediate personal and professional insights to bring back to their organizations.
What Can You Expect From LSP?
LSP challenges you to look at the problems and decision-making processes in our community, state and nation. You can expect a lot of interaction among class members and face-to-face contact with community leaders that will stimulate creative thinking and help identify ways class members can become more involved in our community. Each participant will assist in planning a seminar in collaboration with your fellow team members. Additionally, throughout the program you will be collaborating with others on a large class project that benefits a local nonprofit organization, always culminating in at least one full day of work.
Participants in the program are referred to as “class members.” LSP class members are selected by the Planning Committee from candidates who submit a written application and participate in a face-to-face interview process.
What is the Timeline for a Typical LSP Class Year?
The LSP Planning Committee spends six months (July – December) securing sponsorships and determining the overall content and goals of the seminars which occur between December and June.
Applications for the upcoming LSP class year have traditionally been made available at the end of August, with a deadline to submit completed applications by the end of September. Interviews then take place in November with the final class members selected by the end of November. The new class is introduced to the LSP Alumni Association at the December Holiday Social. Seminars run from December through May. The planning process for the next year then begins in July.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
You must do business or live in the St. Petersburg area and be at least 22 years of age at the time of signing your application. Nominees must have the full support of the organization, corporation or company they represent.
LSP’s curriculum is updated annually to remain relevant, with survey data collected and compiled throughout the year to continually improve each year’s seminars. You can count on a program that covers the most important facets of our great city with seminar programming that is engaging, interactive, and timely. Examples of seminars include: Unique St. Pete, Diversity, Healthcare, Education, State Government, Local Government, and St. Pete Culture.
Each class gives back to our community through The Class Project, a civic-engagement, physical facility improvement project that is completed during the term of the program. A typical Class Project requires the class to create awareness, fundraise, and work hands-on at the nonprofit’s site to rehab a location in need of some tender loving care. It’s up to the class to organize roles and figure out how to accomplish this task!
Since 1970, each Leadership St. Pete® (LSP) Class has graduated leaving footprints in our community through their annual class project. Each class is tasked with identifying a local nonprofit organization in need of a few helping hands in order to reach their goals.
Through LSP’s annual project, each class works together to organize, plan, market, fundraise, and put in the physical labor needed to make the effort a success.
The most recent classes have exceeded their goals by fundraising more than $50,000 in cash and in-kind donations.
LSP is proud to be supported and enthusiastically motivated by several of St. Pete’s community leaders, year after year. The class leverages this support to create what many like to call the “legacy project.”
Every summer, the Leadership St. Pete Planning Committee opens a formal request for proposals for local non-profits to submit an application to be the next class project. The Planning Committee also hosts several info sessions for interested applicants to learn more.
- Applications are submitted by non-profits and scored by the Planning Committee.
- The Planning Committee conducts site visits of the top 5 applicants.
- Following the site visits, the Planning Committee narrows the group to 3.
- The top 3 non-profits present to the class at "Orientation Dinner" in December.
- Class members then have the opportunity to visit and research each applicant prior to Opening Retreat.
- At Opening Retreat in January, the class discusses each potential project and the class members vote to select their class project.
- Once a majority vote is reached, the selected non-profit is announced and the Class Project begins!
*A link to the Class Project application and info session dates can be found on this page when they become available.
Class Project RFP
The Planning Committee
LSP is a volunteer run program of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. LSP leadership is comprised of an Executive Committee (EC) and a Planning Committee (PC). Applications for the 2023 Planning Committee are now closed.
Nominate a candidate or yourself for the Class of 2024. Complete the nomination form below.
2023 Program Schedule
LSPAA Holiday Social: December, 15 2022
Opening Retreat (1-1⁄2 night stay): January 13-14, 2023
St. Pete History: January 24, 2023 1-6 PM
Environmental Sustainability: February 9, 2023 1-5 PM
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: February 21, 2023 1-5 PM
Growing St. Pete: March 7, 2023 1-5 PM
Mid-Year Retreat: March 24, 2023 Full Day
Criminal Justice: April 5, 2023 1-5 PM
State Government (2 nights, 3 days): April 17-19, 2023
Local Government: May 3, 2023 1-5 PM (followed by Sponsorship Reception)
Class Project Day: May 13, 2023
Closing Retreat: May 19, 2023 Half Day
Graduation Dinner: June 1, 2023