Leadership RiverBend

An opportunity exists in the RiverBend for up-and-coming leaders to join in an effort to identify key issues, share common goals and objectives and determine the most effective way to work as a group in providing leadership for the region. Leadership RiverBend will accept a select group of individuals to participate in the program. Through a stringent selection process, the program will work to:

Graduates of the inaugural Leadership Riverbend class in 2009-2010

• Identify and develop community leaders

Develop leadership and team building skills and improve public speaking

• Acquaint participants with community history, issues and needs

• Foster a commitment to continued, personal and professional growth

• Develop relationships among leaders and peers in an effort to form a network of professionals sharing common goals


Ken Spells


No more than fifteen individuals from the RiverBend area will be selected each year to participate in the Leadership RiverBend program. Participants will be selected based on the diversity of their professional, social, political and cultural backgrounds and must be willing to fully participate in the program.

Applications for Leadership RiverBend may be submitted by either the applicant or their employer. In addition, all applicants must meet the following criteria:

• Live or work in the RiverBend area for at least one year or submit a statement of relevance indicating their connection to the RiverBend

• Have shown decision-making responsibility within their business

• Be able and willing to commit to attendance at all nine course sessions and participate in assigned activities


Trish Holmes
The 2016-2017 graduates of Leadership RiverBend


Leadership RiverBend is a cooperative effort to share ideas and foster relationships among area individuals possessing leadership qualities and responsibilities within their business. Attendance and participation in each session and assigned activities is essential to the success of the program. One individual’s failure to attend diminishes the experiences for the remaining members of the program. In order to maintain the high standard recognized within the Leadership RiverBend certification, all leadership candidates are required to commit the time and effort necessary to fulfill the following course requirements:

• Sessions concluding with a completion ceremony

• Assignments to be completed outside of the scheduled course sessions on occasion


Dates are subject to change


Members of the 2012-2013 class after a group project

Participants will learn about the program, the expectations and the other participants. Team building activities and lecture will provide orientation to leadership concepts including mentoring programs and the importance of participating on charitable boards of directors. An exploration of what contributes to the quality of life in the area and discussions of the RiverBend’s richness in diversity will be included.

SESSION 2: The RiverBend

A historical perspective of the communities that make up the RiverBend, the Healthcare and Tourism industries will be reviewed.

Members of the 2010-2011 class on a tour at Melvin Price Locks and Dam in Alton

SESSION 3: Transportation

The RiverBend is a prime location for businesses as it provides multi-modal transportation. Participants will hear speakers from the transportation industry and may include St. Louis Regional Airport, Illinois Department of Transportation, Amtrak, the river industry and representatives from the Illinois General Assembly’s Transportation Committee.

SESSION 4: Working with the Media & Retailing in the RiverBend

The session will include presentations by local leaders in the media and an exploration of how to work effectively with the media to achieve organizational objectives. Local retailers will also be highlighted. The group will discuss social medias and their proper use such as Facebook, Linked In and Twitter.

SESSION 5: Industry and Economic Development in the RiverBend

Participants will tour the Phillips 66 refinery and get an update on their operations. Labor leaders will present on the management/labor relationships. Local officials will present information on their efforts to attract new business to our region.

SESSION 6: Education – Public and Private

This session will include an introduction to public and private education in the RiverBend, preschool through college. A discussion of issues and an introduction to key leaders in the field will take place.

Members of the 2010-2011 class on a tour at St. Louis Regional Airport

SESSION 7: The Judicial System and Lobbying your Legislative Leaders

The session will include a trip to the County Board office and presentations from leaders that work in and with the judicial system. Additionally, speakers will review the importance of lobbying your legislative leaders and the proper way to do that.

SESSION 8: A Visit to the State Capitol
April 2021 – TBD

The session will take place in Springfield at our State’s Capitol. We will speak with our local legislators and hear from legislative leaders. Other invited speakers will include lobbyists and the Illinois Chamber.

SESSION 9: Graduation & Review

The final session will include a review of previous sessions and recognition of the achievement of participants in a celebration ceremony.