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.
Hear from the Ignite Louisville team, get a takeaway leadership lesson, and hear about the experience from program graduates.
What skills will I build in this program?
Ignite Louisville partners with many of the region’s top corporations to provide leadership training from their executive teams and internal universities. Program participants learn best practices for building capability, realizing the potential, and driving breakthrough results; leveraging competencies; managing their personal brand, and effectively managing change within an organization. Through the Ignite Louisville Challenge, the service-learning component of the program, participants gain insight into the inner-workings of nonprofit organizations. They also gain hands-on experience in community leadership, board involvement, and teamwork.
What is the Ignite Louisville experience like?
The Ignite Louisville program is offered twice a year, typically with one class beginning annually in April and another beginning in October. Given COVID-19, that schedule is changing a bit. Our next classes start in March 2021 and October 2021. During the program year, the class enjoys an overnight opening retreat and meets monthly. During each program day, participants learn best practices from top local corporations, connect with key leaders and decision-makers in the community, and have the opportunity to work in teams for the Ignite Louisville Challenge.
What companies help to make Ignite Louisville possible?
Ignite Louisville participants receive exclusive leadership development training from the Center and some of our best partners, including:
- Norton Healthcare, (presenting sponsor)
- U.S. Army
- David Novak Leadership
- Brown-Forman Corporation
- Kindred Healthcare
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.
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.
Who should apply for Ignite Louisville?
Ignite Louisville is designed for leaders who are on the path to becoming significant decision-makers within their organization. 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.
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. 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 (which may be overnight depending on COVID-19) 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.
What is the cost?
Ignite Louisville program tuition is $3,800, which includes overnight retreat lodging (double occupancy), meals, and materials.
Is tuition support available?
Tuition support is available based on need. The scholarship application is part of the program application. Applicants should be prepared to state their reasons for requesting a scholarship 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 ($1,900) 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.
How many people are invited to participate each year?
Ignite Louisville classes are usually made up of about 40 – 45 participants.
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.
How do I submit an application?
Ignite Louisville is Louisville’s highest credential for emerging 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 the classes that begin in spring and fall 2021 are open through January 15, 2021.
See How to Apply for an overview of the application process.
A completed Ignite Louisville application consists of the following components:
- A completed online application;
- Two recommendations, submitted via an online form or via letter;
- A completed Supervisor Commitment form; and
- A headshot suitable for print and online use.
Applications are not considered complete until these components are submitted.
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.
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 comprised of members of the Leadership Louisville Center Board of Directors determines which applicants will be invited to participate in Ignite Louisville.