Kennebec Valley Chamber

Serving the Kennebec Valley, Maine Region

Join the Chamber

Browse Members

Event Calendar



April 2019 Newsletter cover

Member Login

If you experience any difficulty retrieving your login information, please call the office.

Kennebec Leadership Institute

KLI Logo

The goal of the Kennebec Leadership Institute (KLI) is to assure a continuing flow of able, committed and resourceful leaders to serve our communities. As the oldest leadership program in the state, KLI draws prospective leaders from a wide cross-section of businesses, organizations and the community at large. Its purpose is to inspire these promising individuals to work more effectively within their own spheres of influence while expanding their civic and community participation. 

 Click Here for Kennebec Leadership Institute Facilitator RFP

How do I apply?
Apply now to join the 2019 class of future leaders


Tuition for the full 2019 Kennebec Leadership Institute is $1400. Partial scholarships may be available; call the Chamber of Commerce for details. Meals for full-day workshops are included; please contact the Chamber in advance concerning any dietary needs or restrictions.

Application and Acceptance into the Program

Click here to apply. Please submit your completed application to the Chamber by April 1, 2019. A screening committee will review all applications and select successful applicants, who will be notified by email by June 1, 2019.

What is the Kennebec Leadership Institute?
KLI is the oldest leadership program in the state of Maine

The program was designed to:

  • Promote the development of critical skills needed by future leaders through interactive workshops, assignments and community interaction
  • Build the motivation of participants to assume responsible leadership positions in business, civic and community organizations in the Kennebec Valley
  • Build awareness among future leaders of the diversity, strengths, resources and concerns of the Kennebec Valley
  • Establish a network of capable, committed leaders ready to take on new challenges and opportunities in the ever-changing business and community life of the Kennebec Valley

KLI seeks to foster a network of leaders who are committed to understanding and improving the Kennebec Valley. Past graduates have successfully run for office, gained promotion in their companies, served on boards of directors throughout the community, started their own business in the community and chaired a myriad of civic and community groups.

Why focus on building leaders?
The Kennebec Valley needs talented leaders for the future

We live and work in complex times. Our success as a community depends on the skill, commitment and imagination of our future leaders. The Kennebec Valley needs well-rounded professionals –equipped with practical leadership tools and resources – to set the direction for our future. The impact of those leaders will be even greater if they connect through strong community and professional networks. We have the people we need right here in the Kennebec Valley. It is our mission to find and nurture them through the Kennebec Leadership Institute.

Who should participate?
Over 430 alumni have already benefited from KLI

The Kennebec Leadership Institute is open to individuals who live or work in the Kennebec Valley. Anyone with an interest in community betterment is welcome to apply. Applicants do not need to currently be in a leadership position. The only requirement is a sincere commitment from the employee and employer to building skills and knowledge, and to becoming a more active participant in the future of the Kennebec Valley.

Participants must commit to participating and completing all program requirements during the 14-week program including:

Leadership Skills Building

  • 2 full-day skill building workshops
  • 5 half-day skill-building workshops
  • Completion of all pre-workshop assignments
  • Completion of all post-workshop assignments and activities
  • Participation in an exclusive LinkedIn group with other KLI participants and alumni

Kennebec Valley Community Knowledge Building and Networking

  • 5 scheduled community topic events This will be a mix of panel discussions, guest speakers and site visits to learn about important community issues. Panelists and presenters will be top business and community leaders, focused on such topics as economic development, education, state and local government, community history, civic and cultural organizations and the future of the region.
  • 4 Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce events. Participants will select from monthly events such as: Business After Hours, Chamber Connections, Women’s Network Luncheon and Cynergy.

Giving Back to the Community – Service Project

  • Participation in a class service project. This work will be coordinated by the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce.

What role does the participant’s manager play?
A manager’s support and coaching is the key to employee growth

The research is clear: the number one success factor is building an employee’s skills is the involvement of the direct supervisor. This is especially true when the employee participates in a formal offsite training program. Skills building does not end in the classroom – it begins there. That’s why the Kennebec Leadership Institute offers a unique feature that most programs do not: easy-to-use coaching guides for the participant’s direct manager to use both before and after an employee attends a workshop.

Why does this guidance matter?

For the participant

  • Increased motivation and commitment
  • Better retention and understanding of the skills learned in class
  • Increased likelihood that the participant will use what was learned

For the manager (and the participant’s organization)

  • Valuable insight into the participant’s character, skills, work ethic and potential
  • More skilled employees
  • Better coaching and communication skills for the manager
  • Better employee retention – employees who feel invested in are more likely to stay with their organization

What will the participant’s manager do?

Managers will receive a Coaching Guide for each workshop. Here is what the participant’s direct manager, supervisor or coach is expected to do to make sure the employee gets the full benefit of the program:

✓ Before each leadership skill building workshop, have a quick but targeted conversation with the employee to discuss expectations and possible skills gaps. Managers will receive a step-by-step coaching guide for this conversation. Make sure the employee has completed all pre-workshop activities.

✓ After each workshop, debrief the participant on what he or she learned and how he or she intends to put this learning into action. Coach and encourage the employee as she or he practices these new skills!

Thank you to our Kennebec Leadership Institute Sponsors!

CMPnewlogo08 2011  KSBtwoline twocolorFINAL   TRC logo