What is Bingham Fellows?
The Bingham Fellows is the leadership-in-action arm of the Leadership Louisville Center. For over 25 years, Bingham Fellows has provided experienced leaders with the opportunity to put into practice the skills that credential them as a leader of leaders. Side by side with peers, participants provide critical issues with visibility and momentum to move our community forward.
The Bingham Fellows program is a ten-month experience from January to October. Individuals selected for the program will gain an insider’s view of the topic and will meet and work with the area’s top experts and key players. Participants come away with new insights, connections and the experience of an unmatched practicum in change management and group dynamics, gaining expertise in how to motivate, manage and inspire fellow leaders.
How did the Bingham Fellows program come about?
More than 25 years ago, the Leadership Louisville Center’s board of directors recognized the potential of program graduates coming together around a particular issue in the community to make positive change. The Bingham Fellows program was created as a result of this awareness and through the vision of Mary and Barry Bingham. A $500,000 endowment from the Mary and Barry Bingham Sr. Fund allowed the Bingham Fellows program to be created in 1988.
What are some of the outcomes from prior Bingham Fellows classes?
Outcomes from prior Bingham Fellows projects include the establishment of The Housing Partnership; formation of the Waste Management Board; the founding of the Regional Leadership Coalition, now the Kentucky Indiana Exchange (KIX); the working concept of the Sustain Louisville arm of Louisville Metro Government; and the creation of FarmWorks, a group that promotes the benefits of locally grown produce and supports local farmers and farmers’ markets.
In recent years, the Bingham Fellows have contributed to the development of a long-term vision for our community, enhanced environmental responsibility through initiatives at the grassroots and policy levels, worked to attract and retain talent with an internship program now managed by Greater Louisville Inc., and helped form a regional leadership coalition known as the Kentucky Indiana Exchange.
How is the topic selected each year?
The Leadership Louisville Center staff spends a considerable amount of time determining the topic for the Bingham Fellows each year. Staff members meet with key community leaders to identify the most pressing challenges facing our region, and also solicit recommendations from previous Bingham Fellows classes and the Leadership Louisville Center board of directors. Twice in the program’s history, the Leadership Louisville Center has turned to the community at large for ideas and inspiration.
Topic selection is based on a variety of criteria:
• Importance – is the challenge of importance to the community?
• Urgency – is action, or are solutions, needed now, or can they be delayed?
• Necessity – will other organizations carry the responsibility once the program year concludes?
• Cost-benefit – is the estimated impact of project teamwork worth the amount of time required? Are the projects/initiatives of manageable size for the program year?
• Creativity/Innovation – will the Bingham Fellows have the freedom to complete their work by tapping into creative solutions brought about by their innovative thinking?
What is the topic for the 2019 Bingham Fellows?
The topic for 2019 focuses on improving educational outcomes in our city, with the theme: “It Takes a Village: Mobilizing Community for Student Achievement” Click here for more on the topic.
What do the Bingham Fellows hope to accomplish?
Specific outcomes are difficult to predict from the outset, because the Bingham Fellows’ accomplishments are based upon the collective wisdom, work and inspiration of the participants themselves. What we do know is that the Bingham Fellows have a long history of success due in part to their ability to cross traditional boundaries and gather stakeholders and resources.
Why are the 2019 Bingham Fellows focusing on education?
For so long our community has been aware of the challenges faced by our kids, from arriving at kindergarten ready to learn to staying engaged as they advance towards graduation and the workforce. Now is a critical time to rally together to impact student success.
back to top
What is the Bingham Fellows program experience like?
The Bingham Fellows is a ten-month program that takes place January – October. The program year begins with a mandatory orientation in January and its first program day in February. During the program year, the class meets once, sometimes twice, a month at varying locations. (see Bingham Fellows 2019 program calendar).
During these program days, participants meet and work with key leaders and decision-makers in the community or participate in experiential learning around the topic as they explore solutions and pathways forward.
Outside of the program days, from April through graduation in October, participants will work in teams on different projects to address the topic. These project teams will meet, typically weekly, and develop their solutions independently. Some work will take place during business hours and some will take place outside of business hours. Beginning in May, a portion of program days will be set aside for additional group work. Participation on a project team is required.
Participants come away with new tools for facilitating change as well as the opportunity to put leadership skills into practice that credential them as a leader of leaders. The Bingham Fellows are in a peer group where each member of the class has already achieved a leadership title. Alongside CEOs, vice presidents and directors, participants receive hands-on experience on how to motivate, manage and inspire fellow leaders.
Why should I get involved?
The Bingham Fellows program offers a one-of-a-kind leadership development experience, one where participants work with peer leaders to develop dynamic and innovative solutions to our community’s most pressing challenges. Individuals selected for the program will gain an insider’s view of the topic and will meet and work with the area’s top experts and key players. Participants come away with new insight, connections and an unmatched practicum in change management and group dynamics which teaches them how to motivate, manage and inspire fellow leaders.
What does my business gain from my participation?
Businesses gain advanced leadership experience in change management and influencing behavior as well as the opportunity to highlight your company’s interest in the local community and commitment to its positive growth. Your organization also benefits from new relationships with other local and regional leaders who are passionate about and driven by these community issues. Not only will you receive an insider’s view into the problem, your company will also enjoy recognition as part of the solution.
Who should apply for Bingham Fellows?
The Bingham Fellows program is considered our most advanced leadership course. We encourage graduates of our other programs (Leadership Louisville, Ignite Louisville and Focus Louisville) to apply for the Bingham Fellows as the next step in their personal leadership journey. We also welcome graduates of other leadership programs. Individuals who are passionate about civic engagement and/or a particular topic are also welcome to apply if they are interested in the advanced leadership development opportunity and the ability to make a positive difference on the topic.
What are the time commitments involved?
Bingham Fellows participants must attend the mandatory orientation in January and are expected to attend each of the program days. Program days are held on a pre-determined schedule and typically take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program also includes a mandatory two-day overnight retreat in April. (see 2019 Bingham Fellows program calendar)
Additionally, a considerable amount of time is spent outside of the program day in small groups to further explore the topic and implement solutions. This amount of time varies depending on specific project objectives.
What is the cost?
Bingham Fellows program tuition is $4,200, which includes meals, transportation, parking and materials.
Are scholarships available?
Limited scholarships are available based on need. The Leadership Louisville Center does not award full scholarships. Our gifts typically range from a few hundred dollars up to 50 percent of the program tuition, or $2,100. The application for scholarship assistance is embedded within the program application itself. Please be prepared to state the amount you are requesting and your reasons for making the request. Scholarship requests are considered only after the class selection process is complete and will not impact consideration of your Bingham Fellows application.
How many people are invited to participate each year?
The typical class size for the Bingham Fellows program is approximately 40 participants.
I’m interested, but I don’t know if my employer will support me. What should I do?
Talk to the decision makers in your company or organization. Besides providing advanced leadership experience in change management and influencing behavior, participation in the Bingham Fellows program highlights your company’s interest in the local community and commitment to its positive growth. Your company will also benefit from in-depth relationships with other local and regional leaders who are passionate about and driven by these community issues. Not only will you receive an insider’s view into the problem, your company will also enjoy recognition for its dedication to the improvement of our community. If you need additional assistance, contact the Leadership Louisville Center and we’ll be happy to help.
How do I submit an application?
Applications are taken online. In addition to the online application, candidates must also submit a photograph suitable for print and online use. Candidates who are not graduates of a previous Leadership Louisville Center program are also required to submit two (2) letters of recommendation. An in-person interview is optional.
What can I do to strengthen my application?
Participating in Focus Louisville can strengthen your application. Focus Louisville is a 2 1/2 day activity-filled program that offers everyone from newcomers to native Louisvillians a fascinating “insider’s” look at our community. It’s all designed to give attendees a more complete view and understanding of Louisville along with a better sense of how to put leadership into action.
Program graduates, becoming a member of the Center can also strengthen your application. Stay engaged by attending members-only events like the Thought Leadership Series.
What happens after my application is submitted?
Once you have submitted your application form and all other components, your application will be considered complete. A Leadership Louisville Center Selection Committee will determine who will be invited to join the class. Applicants are generally notified of selection decisions in early December.