Interested in our leadership program for young professionals here in Louisville, but want to learn more? Click below to get answers to some of our frequently asked questions! If you can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to reach out to Aimee Jewell at ajewell@leadershiplouisville.org.


What is Ignite Louisville?

What skills will I build in this program?

What is the Ignite Louisville experience like?

What companies help to make Ignite Louisville possible?

What can I expect to take away from Ignite Louisville?

What is the Ignite Louisville Challenge?

Who should apply for Ignite Louisville?

What are the time commitments involved?

What is the cost?

Is tuition support available?

How many people are invited to participate each year?

I’m interested, but I don’t know if my employer will support me. What should I do?

How do I submit an application?

What can I do to strengthen my application?

What happens after my application is submitted?


What is Ignite Louisville?

Ignite Louisville is a six-month program that cultivates high-potential professionals age 25-45, by developing key components of leadership – competencies, networking, community understanding, and engagement. Sponsored by Norton Healthcare, the program provides emerging leaders with the skills, confidence, problem-solving abilities, and high-profile connections essential to professional success and to achieving their personal leadership goals.

Join us for a “A Taste of Ignite Louisville” | Dec. 16, 8:30-9:30 a.m.:
Hear from the Ignite Louisville team, get a takeaway leadership lesson, and hear about the experience from program graduates.

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What skills will I build in this program?

Ignite Louisville’s curriculum features exclusive content from the Leadership Louisville Center and partners with many of the region’s top corporations to provide leadership training from their executive teams and internal universities. Topics include: innovation, creative thinking, project management, effective communication, personal branding, DE&I, and leading up, down, and across. Through the Ignite Louisville Challenge (the service-learning component of the program), participants gain insight into the inner-workings of nonprofit organizations and gain hands-on experience in community leadership, board involvement, and teamwork.

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What is the Ignite Louisville experience like?

During the program year, the class will enjoy an overnight opening retreat and will then meet monthly. Each month, you’ll meet with the class for leadership development training from some of the region’s top employers and Leadership Louisville Center, and have the opportunity to work in teams for the Ignite Louisville Challenge.

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What companies help to make Ignite Louisville possible?

Ignite Louisville participants receive exclusive leadership development training from the Center and some of the city’s most prominent organizations. Past Partners include:

  • Norton Healthcare, (presenting sponsor)
  • U.S. Army
  • David Novak Leadership
  • Brown-Forman Corporation
  • Kindred Healthcare

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What can I expect to take away from Ignite Louisville?

Participants enjoy unforgettable experiences, training, and relationships that pay dividends personally and professionally. Ignite Louisville allows our region’s top young professionals to gain enhanced community visibility, public recognition for themselves and their company, and proven credentials to take on leadership roles and serve in board positions. Ignite Louisville also provides priceless training from Louisville’s most influential corporations, interaction with top leaders, and hands-on experience through the program’s nonprofit challenge.

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What is the Ignite Louisville Challenge?

The Ignite Louisville Challenge is the service-learning component of the Ignite Louisville program. Ignite Louisville participants are placed in small teams and choose a project from local nonprofit agencies in need. They are challenged to combine their Ignite Louisville training with their professional expertise to work with the nonprofit’s leadership and board members to implement innovative, lasting solutions. The results are impactful and impressive. Learn more about the Ignite Louisville Challenge.

Since the inception of the Challenge in 2004, Louisville’s brightest young professionals have elevated local nonprofit organizations with more than 125 projects.

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Who should apply for Ignite Louisville?

Ignite Louisville is designed for leaders who are on the path to becoming significant decision-makers within their organizations.  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. The most critical factor is where each potential applicant is on their leadership journey.

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What are the time commitments involved?

Participation in the Ignite Louisville program requires a commitment to attend each of the monthly program days in their entirety (Click here to review the dates for the next class). The two-day overnight opening retreat is mandatory. Program days take place from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Requests in writing for absences up to eight hours will be considered on a case by case basis. Absence from more than one program day (or equivalent hours) could result in dismissal from the program.

A major component of the program is the Ignite Louisville Challenge, which is a small-group community service project that puts leadership training into practice. This project will require a significant investment of time outside of program days. It is mandatory that each participant is actively engaged in their project. Learn more about the Ignite Louisville Challenge.


To commit to the Ignite Louisville program and the Ignite Louisville Challenge will require support from the participant’s employer and family. The program is only successful when all participants are committed to its completion. The attendance policy is as follows:

Ignite Louisville program staff must be notified in advance of any absence. However, notifying us does not absolve you of your responsibility to attend. The opening retreat is mandatory in its entirety. For all other program sessions, one excused absence, or equivalent hours, is allowed. A second absence will result in a review of your continued participation by the Leadership Louisville Center Board of Directors. At that point, you must petition the Board to review your status. Two consecutive absences will result in automatic dismissal. Coming and going from program days is discouraged, and any hours away from sessions will be tracked and can add up to an absence.

Additionally, a considerable amount of time is spent outside of the program days in small groups to execute projects as part of the Ignite Louisville Challenge. This amount of time varies depending on specific project objectives.

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What is the cost?

Ignite Louisville program tuition is $4,200, which includes overnight retreat lodging (double occupancy), meals, and materials.

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Is tuition support available?

Tuition support is available based on need. The request for tuition support is part of the program application. Applicants should be prepared to state their reasons for requesting support and the amount desired. Please note that the Leadership Louisville Center does not award full tuition, and at this time, the typical award does not exceed one-half ($2,100) of the program tuition.

Tuition support requests are considered only after the class selection process is complete and will in no way impact consideration of an Ignite Louisville application.

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How many people are invited to participate each year?

Ignite Louisville classes are usually made up of about 40 – 45 participants.

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I’m interested, but I don’t know if my employer will support me. What should I do?

Employers benefit from your participation in many ways, including the development of better, stronger leaders who are positioned to bring value and connections to their companies for years to come. Sponsoring companies also receive local recognition for their dedication to professional development in the community and gain valuable business connections through an employee’s participation.

Download an info sheet about how your organization benefits from your participation.

Let the Leadership Louisville Center make the case for your participation in the class! Employers can contact Aimee Jewell at (502) 468-2426 (cell) to learn how valuable Ignite Louisville can be for employers.

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How do I submit an application?

Ignite Louisville is Louisville’s highest credential for up-and-coming leaders and the application process is extremely competitive. Some participants must apply multiple years before receiving acceptance to the program. There is no fee to apply.

Applications for our upcoming class (running from October 2022 – April 2023) will be open from June 6 – July 29, 2022.

See How to Apply for an overview of the application process.

A completed Ignite Louisville application consists of three components:

  • A completed online application;
  • A completed Supervisor Commitment form; and
  • A headshot suitable for print and online use, which can be uploaded with the application or emailed directly to Aimee Jewell at ajewell@leadershiplouisville.org.

Applications are not considered complete until these components are submitted.

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What can I do to strengthen my application?

The Leadership Louisville Center recommends that Ignite Louisville candidates first participate in Focus Louisville, the Center’s “gateway” program. 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 designed to give leaders a more complete view and understanding of Louisville along with a better sense of how to put leadership into action.  Participation in Focus Louisville also allows potential Ignite Louisville applicants to explore the Center’s style of experiential learning.

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What happens after my application is submitted?

Applications are considered complete once all components of the application have been received by the Leadership Louisville Center.  A selection committee determines which applicants will be invited to participate in Ignite Louisville.

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