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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.

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 six month 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 Fall 2019 Ignite Louisville Challenge

Applications for the next Ignite Louisville classes will be open January 6 – February 24, 2020.
Here’s how to apply

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

  • “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

  • “Ignite Louisville helped me to better showcase my leadership skills and tangible examples of my capabilities. In addition, I now have this amazing network of professional mentors and lifelong relationships with my Ignite Louisville team. It would have taken years for me to attain this pool of invaluable connections and resources, and to uplift my professional career in the process. The Ignite Louisville program has made it all possible for me in six months.”
    Nazifa Cassity, Louisville Metro Revenue Commission

  • “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

How Individuals Benefit

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

Convince your boss

How Organizations Benefit

  • Better, stronger leaders, regardless of the size of your organization.
  • 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 offered two times annually, from April-October and October-April.  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 Spring and Fall 2019.

Program calendars for upcoming classes


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

Class beginning April 2020:
May 19-20, 2020 (Mandatory overnight Opening Retreat – UPDATED 3-26-20)
April 13, 2020 (5:30-7:30 p.m.) To be rescheduled
May 19, 2020 (Early start at 7:30 a.m.) To be rescheduled
June 16, 2020
July 14, 2020
August 11, 2020
September 8, 2020
October 7, 2020 (Graduation 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

Class beginning October 2020:
October 22-23, 2020 (Mandatory overnight Opening Retreat)
November 17, 2020 (Early start at 7:30 a.m.)
December 15, 2020
January 19, 2021
February 23, 2021
March 16, 2021
April 13, 2021  (Graduation 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)


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 are open January 6 – February 24, 2020 Learn how to apply


See Frequently Asked Questions about Ignite Louisville. For more information, contact Aimee Jewell or call (502) 561-5231.


Presenting sponsor Norton Healthcare