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Building Stronger Next Generation Leaders.

About the Program

Norton Healthcare

Norton Healthcare is the presenting sponsor of the Ignite Louisville program.

Now more than ever, emerging leaders need skills, courage, and confidence to lead our organizations and our community.

Ignite Louisville prepares high-potential professionals, between 25-45 years old, for expanded opportunities in career and community leadership. Now offered twice a year (see program calendars), Ignite Louisville is a life-changing personal and professional development experience that produces the skills, confidence, problem-solving abilities and connections essential to realizing leadership potential.

Participants gain hands-on experience in civic leadership and working effectively as a team through the Ignite Louisville Challenge. They also gain heightened visibility within the community. See the results Ignite Louisville teams achieved for six local nonprofits as part of the Spring 2020 Ignite Louisville Challenge

Watch the recording of “A Taste of Ignite Louisville,” to hear about the program from alum and Ignite Louisville staff. Applications will open again in summer of 2021 for classes that begin in fall 2021 and spring 2022.

Sign up for a Taste of Ignite Louisville

If you’re looking to learn more about the Ignite Louisville program, or just have an interest in expanding your professional development strategy, you’ll find actionable takeaways at this virtual event. Grab your favorite beverage (a free coffee on us is an option!) and join us to gain practical advice to move your career forward, connect with other engaged leaders in the community, and learn how to Ignite your future.

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Sign Up Now

Not quite ready for Ignite Louisville, but curious to learn more about Leadership Louisville Center? Join our email list

Know someone who is ready for Ignite Louisville? Nominate them for the program

How Individuals Benefit

  • Leadership lessons that can only be learned outside your comfort zone.
  • Unforgettable experiences and valuable new relationships with a diverse network of professionals.
  • Exclusive leadership development training from the Center and some of our best partners, including Brown-Forman Corporation, Norton Healthcare, David Novak Leadership, the U.S. Army, and Kindred Healthcare.
  • Recognition as a rising leader with demonstrated ability to take on leadership challenges and serve on civic boards and committees.

    Convince your boss
  • “This was my first opportunity to work on a team with professionals outside of my field towards a common goal. Thanks to Ignite Louisville, I have a better understanding of Louisville’s workforce and dozens of new contacts, both in and outside of my field. Nearly every day I think about some takeaway I gained at an Ignite Louisville program day.”
    Alexander Marks, Baird Company

  • “Words cannot express the incredible experience I had in Ignite Louisville. I’m forever grateful for the countless relationships developed, the insights acquired, and the impact our class created.”
    Raechele Gray, Endeavor Louisville

  • “Ignite showed me the power of diversity.  My team of varied backgrounds, experiences, and strengths not only produced results beyond what I could have imagined, but also became life-long friends.”
    Elizabeth Strehl, Humana Inc.

  • “This was the most powerful and impactful leadership program that I have been involved in. I absolutely loved this program. I was apprehensive about the time commitment, but quickly fell in love with the project and the program days, plus I had phenomenal teammates. This is seven months I’ll never forget.”
    Wes Syndor MSD

  • “Ignite Louisville gave me friendships, confidence, and the ability to think outside of my usual perspective…The chance to learn about other industries made me a stronger leader in my company and the community, and I know that Ignite Louisville opened doors that would have otherwise remained shut.”
    Lindsay Wehr, Kosair Charities

  • “Ignite Louisville allowed me to see the Louisville community in a whole new way. I was able to connect with people I never would have met otherwise and engage in incredible community efforts I didn’t even know existed, all the while developing myself professionally and personally. I have grown in my confidence in myself as a leader and for that, I could not be more grateful!”
    Cassidy Hyde, Make-A-Wish

  • “The energy of my classmates and the shared desire to do more for ourselves, our companies and our community has reignited a flame that was in danger of being extinguished. When I moved to Louisville years ago, I was not engaged, nor felt I needed to be. Ignite Louisville has provided the fuel for my fire.”
    Sue Perram, Brown-Forman Corporation

  • “Ignite Louisville is hands down a MUST DO for anyone who wants to become a better leader. I was able to network with other young professionals, learn new skills, and make a difference for an amazing non-profit organization.”
    Cory Moneymaker, The Healing Place

How Organizations Benefit

  • Higher performing talent and increased leadership capacity – participants learn through 50 hours of professional development and nearly 100 hours in applied teamwork.
  • Stronger employee engagement as graduates are better equipped for leadership roles within their company and are supported in their deeper involvement in the community.
  • Valuable business connections with the region’s top corporations, including access to invaluable internal training programs of these organizations.
  • Local recognition as an organization dedicated to growing the next generation of leaders in our community.

Learn more about how organizations benefit (download pdf)

How Nonprofit Agencies Benefit

The most powerful aspect of the Ignite Louisville program is the service-learning component, in which teams of participants compete in the Ignite Louisville Challenge. Teams partner with local nonprofit organizations to put their leadership learning to work for the benefit of the nonprofit.

See the results Ignite Louisville teams achieved for six local nonprofits as part of the Fall 2019 Ignite Louisville Challenge

See the complete list of nonprofits who have benefitted from Ignite Louisville teams since 2005.

See “How We Help Nonprofits”

Time commitment

Ignite Louisville is normally offered two times annually, from April-October and October-April. The schedule for 2020-21 is adjusted a bit due to COVID-19 with classes starting in August 2020 and March 2021. Both programs include a two-day opening retreat followed by one full day per month for six months, plus time spent working with a nonprofit partner in the Ignite Louisville Challenge service-learning project.  See program calendars for the classes that begin in the next year.

Program calendars for upcoming classes

Program days are from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (except noted below)

Class beginning March 2021: (DATES UPDATED 2-18-21)

March 18-19, 2021 (retreat – now cancelled)
March 18, 2021 (2:00 – 4:30 p.m.) Orientation
April 19-20, 2021 (Opening Retreat)
May 18, 2021 (early 7:30 a.m. start)
June 15, 2021
July 14, 2021
August 18, 2021
September 15, 2021 (time is changed to 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
October 19, 2021 (New graduation date – 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

Please reserve these dates for any make-up days that might be necessary:
August 4, 2021
September 1, 2021

Class beginning October 2021:

October 28-29, 2021 (Mandatory overnight Opening Retreat)
November 1, 2021 (5:00-7:30 p.m.) Open House with nonprofit agencies
November 16, 2021 (Early start at 7:30 a.m.)
December 15, 2021
January 13, 2022
February 9, 2022
March 16, 2022
April 13, 2022 (Graduation)


Tuition for this program is $3,800. Includes overnight retreat lodging, meals, and materials. Scholarships are available based on need. You can request a scholarship via the Ignite Louisville application form.

Who should apply

The Ignite Louisville program is designed for next-generation leaders who are on the path to significant leadership positions within their companies and organizations. The ideal Ignite Louisville candidate is an individual who is engaged, involved and ready to make a positive impact both in their career and in their community. Applicants are typically between the ages of 25-45, with the average applicant in their mid-thirties. Leaders above and below this mean are invited to contact us and we can help you decide if Ignite Louisville is right for you. Join our email list to be notified about important dates regarding the Ignite Louisville program.

How to Apply

The online application considers education, career, community service, responses to essay questions, recommendations and approval from your employer/supervisor.

Applications open in summer 2021 for classes that begin in fall 2021 and spring 2022.

Satisfaction Guarantee Policy

The Leadership Louisville Center strives to provide exceptional offerings and service, and your experience is our top priority. In these changing times, to make sure you are confident in engaging with us, we are pleased to offer a satisfaction guarantee to all participants that offers flexibility with attendance, availability of refunds, and ability to defer to future sessions. Program and event logistics will also be adjusted as needed to ensure health guidelines are followed. Please see our full policy for details. 


See Frequently Asked Questions about Ignite Louisville. For more information, contact Aimee Jewell or call (502) 468-2426 (cell), or schedule a quick, 15-minute call.


Presenting sponsor Norton Healthcare