Show/Hide more photosYoung professionals learn about leadership from the U.S. Army Special Forces at Ft. Knox.

A program that builds stronger next generation leaders.

Designed for young professionals and up-and-coming leaders, Ignite Louisville teaches career-changing leadership competencies through a combination of training, intensive relationship and team building, and hands-on work with a local nonprofit. Offered twice a year (see program calendars), this 6-month program is a one of a kind professional development experience that produces the skills, confidence, problem-solving abilities, and connections essential to realizing leadership potential.

Norton Healthcare

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

Participants get top training from some of the region’s most high-profile corporations, then are put to the test with the Ignite Louisville Challenge: a hands-on team competition that applies effective teamworking principles through civic leadership projects (see the last set of projects here). Program days, deep networking, and nonprofit partnerships allow participants to forge relationship with a broader network of professionals and achieve heightened visibility within the community.

Applications are open until July 23, 2021. The best way to find out if the program is a good fit for you is by attending an Ignite Overview (June 29 or 30) or by scheduling a quick 15-minute talk with our Engagement Specialist Aimee Jewell. 

Register for an Ignite Overview     Schedule a Quick 15-Minute Call

Quick Links

Who Should Apply

The Ignite Louisville program is designed for high-performing individual contributors and up and coming 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.

Details and Tuition

  • Time Commitment: Ignite Louisville is offered twice a year (April-October and October-April). Both programs include a mandatory two-day opening retreat, followed by one full program day per month and time spent working with a nonprofit partner in the Ignite Louisville Challenge civic leadership project. Participants are expected to attend all program days, so please check the program calendar to ensure the dates work for your schedule prior to submitting an application.
  • Tuition: Tuition for Ignite Louisville is $4,200. This includes overnight retreat lodging, meals, and materials. We understand that this is a barrier for some, and encourage you to reach out to us for guidance on how to convince your employer to fund the cost of the program. If your employer is unable to support your participation financially, tuition assistance through Leadership Louisville Center is available based on need. You can request tuition assistance through your application form.
  • Application Deadline: July 23, 2021

How Individuals Benefit

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

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 to Apply

Applications for the next two cohorts (October 2021 – April 2022 and April – October 2022) are open until July 23, 2021. Our selection committee considers experience, community service, responses to essay questions, recommendations, and approval from your employer/supervisor. The application consists of four parts:

Start Your Application


See Frequently Asked Questions about Ignite Louisville. For more information, attend one of our upcoming Ignite Louisville Overviews or schedule a quick, 15-minute call with Aimee Jewell – or feel free to email her or call (502) 468-2426 (cell) with any questions.

Nonprofits interested in an Ignite Team

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. If you are a nonprofit interested in having an Ignite Louisville team of your own, click here to learn more about how our organization can help you achieve your goals.


Presenting sponsor Norton Healthcare