Putting Leadership into Action, Solutions into Place.
About the Program
The Bingham Fellows program annually brings together about 40 experienced Louisville leaders to address one of the region’s most critical issues. A diverse class of participants is selected following a competitive application process to ensure the class includes content expertise and unique voices representing all parts of the community. The cohort of professional peers meet with topic experts and local stakeholders and experience a practicum in change management and group dynamics. As their program year progresses, they form project teams to take action and create positive social change.
Applications are closed for the Bingham Fellows Class of 2022. Interested in learning more about Bingham Fellows for next year? The best way to find out if the program is a good fit for you is by scheduling time to talk with our Engagement Manager, Aimee Jewell.
Every year, a new topic is chosen – providing focus and a pathway for meaningful action. Outcomes from 30 years of Bingham Fellows projects demonstrate both imagination and practical gathering of critical resources to address obvious social needs. The topic for our upcoming 2022 class is Moving Downtown Forward: Adapt and Reinvent – click here to learn more!
Take a look at the topics and outcomes for our past few years:
- 2021 | Belonging: Building a Culture of Inclusivity (current class – outcomes presented January 2022)
- 2020 | Making Louisville a Top-Tier City
- 2019 | It Takes a Village: Mobilizing Community for Student Success
Many projects from our Bingham Fellows teams have gone on to have a lasting impact in the community, moving the needle long after participants have completed their program time. Some of these projects have included:
- The West Louisville community development organization OneWest
- Regular Café Louie conversations with elected officials at Louisville Free Public Library locations
- A sustainable model for neighborhood ‘Little Free Libraries’
- City Champs, a talent attraction and retention program now managed by Greater Louisville Inc.
- The creation of The Housing Partnership
- Construction of the Presbyterian Community Center
- Growth of local farmers’ markets
Bingham Fellows was created in 1988 through a $500,000 endowment from Mary and Barry Bingham Sr.
“The class experience gave me the opportunity to create new relationships in the community with a group of engaged citizens while strengthening existing relationships. The class shared diverse opinions and insights but always centered on a common purpose.”
Brad Smith (BF ’20), Managing Partner, MCM CPAs & Advisors
“Bingham Fellows was a commitment, but I enjoyed the process and it stretched me professionally. I benefitted most from the deep exposure to the topic, critical thinking opportunities, and the cross-section of professionals in the class.”
Kathy Knotts (BF ’19), Grants Officer, Gheens Foundation
“My Bingham Fellows class provided me an opportunity to learn about an important civic issue (modernization of Kentucky’s Constitution) and to chair a follow-on nonprofit to educate Kentuckians about this significant topic.”
Todd P. Lowe, CFA (BF ’20), President, Parthenon LLC
“Bingham Fellows gave me the opportunity to develop as a leader alongside an awesome group of people who represent all sectors of our community. I learned so much from the experts brought in as speakers and the meaningful dialogues we had as a class. I gained lifetime friends and was reminded of the beauty in diverse perspectives.”
Maryam Ahmed (BF ’18), Former Assistant Director, Mayor’s Office for Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods
“I loved my Bingham Fellow experience. I developed new relationships with great people, and got to work on an issue that our community needed to address. The Bingham Fellow experience is about people coming together getting the facts and then taking action to make a positive impact in our hometown!”
William Summers (BF ’18), Senior VP Chief Community Development Officer, Republic Bank
“Bingham Fellows introduced me to a wonderful group of diverse professionals that I might not have met and learned from without participating in this class. The speakers and information gathering sessions were also extremely valuable.”
Kellie Watson (BF ’19), Equity & Compliance Officer, Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District
“My Bingham Fellows experience directly influenced the lives of citizens through outcomes such as new academic agreements with local businesses to benefit students. As a non-profit community and technical college, we have limited funds to send our leadership team to programs like this one. Yet, this experience allowed me to ‘connect the dots’ between industry and education. It created a safe place to ask tough questions about workforce development and the tough issues in Louisville and allowed me to leverage these connections and experiences for measurable change.”
Telly Sellars (BF ’17), Dean of Technical Education, JCTCS
“Bingham Fellows was an amazing opportunity to meet, learn from, and network with Louisville’s top leaders in every industry. Additionally, I’m proud of the impact we were able to have on an important community issue, and look forward to seeing the results for many years to come.”
Matthew Ayers (BF ’15), Chief Administrative Officer, Norton Healthcare
“Bingham Fellows provided me an opportunity to collaborate with other community leaders who are passionate about making Louisville a world class city. As a Fellow, you learn a lot about the topic and the city in general, but the most rewarding aspect of the experience is the camaraderie with your classmates. When you have that much energy and interest together in one room, the sense of the possible is empowering.”
Mary Ellen Wiederwohl (BF ’11), Former Chief, Louisville Forward, Louisville Metro Government
“To be a graduate of the Bingham Fellows means a lot to me, especially with the significant legacy of the program’s namesake. I especially appreciate the opportunity to meet and work with so many of the new generation of leaders from our region. We came together around one common goal, and with their energy and enthusiasm, I know that together we are able to help create a better Louisville and a better Kentucky!”
Skipper Martin (BF ’15), Strategic Partner, McCarthy Strategic Solutions
“The Bingham Fellows experience has been terrific. I’ve really enjoyed working with such a talented and high energy group of people. The passion for improving Louisville and preparing our community for the future has been contagious. This experience has opened my eyes to the tremendous need for a vision, tools and a roadmap to enable our community to thrive in the future.”
Wendy Brown (BF ’11), GM – Digital and ECommerce, GE Appliances, a Haier company
“Bingham Fellows provided an opportunity like no other to connect with top leadership around a community issue. My organization was able to contribute to a larger movement and have access to expertise and additional partners that will increase our impact in the community.”
Steve Tarver (BF ’12), President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Louisville
How Individuals Benefit
• You’ll have the rare opportunity to make a significant difference while learning advanced strategic change management skills.
• Gain recognition as a community leader providing solutions for tough civic challenges.
• Take a deep dive into the issue and gain a greater understanding of your community by engaging with subject matter experts.
• Grow your network by collaborating with a diverse group of professionals to solve complex problems.
How Organizations Benefit
By sending a representative from your organization to participate in the Bingham Fellows, your company will:
• Grow its reach and collaborate with a unique cross-section of organizations in our city.
• Benefit from the opportunity to meet and work with the area’s top experts and key decision-makers.
• Gain access to advanced leadership techniques in thinking big and effecting change.
Who Should Apply
The Bingham Fellows program is considered our most advanced leadership course. Community leaders who have the expertise or have a strong interest in the Bingham Fellows topic along with a commitment toward positive change should apply. Bingham Fellows participants can be graduates of other Leadership Louisville Center programs including Focus Louisville, Ignite Louisville, and Leadership Louisville, but non-graduates are also encouraged to apply. Graduates of other community and state leadership programs are also invited to apply. If the tuition of this program is a barrier, tuition support can be requested as part of the application process. Requests for tuition support do not diminish your chance of being accepted into the cohort. See the list of Bingham Fellows graduates since 1991.
Details and Tuition
- Time Commitment: Bingham Fellows is a year-long program, with monthly program days, a mandatory opening session in February and a mandatory two-day retreat in May. Class members are expected to attend each of the program days, which typically take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (see 2022 Bingham Fellows program calendar for an example of what to expect). Additionally, a considerable amount of time is spent outside of the program day in small groups to further explore the topic and implement solutions. Groups are formed and begin meeting outside of program days beginning in April.
- Tuition: Tuition for the Bingham Fellows program is $4,500 and includes overnight retreat lodging, meals, and materials.
- Tuition Support: Tuition support is available if the cost is a barrier. You can request support through the Bingham Fellows application form. A typical award would not exceed half of the tuition cost.
- Application Deadline: Applications for the Class of 2022 are currently open through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 29, 2021.
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