What is Ignite Louisville?

Aaron Miller

Aaron Miller, director of programs, Leadership Louisville Center

by Aaron Miller, Leadership Louisville Center –

So you’ve heard of Ignite Louisville; you’ve read about it in Business First, you see it mentioned on social media, you hear about the “Ignite Challenge” in places like the Courier-Journal and the Voice-Tribune, but no one has answered the question: just what the heck is this Ignite Louisville thing and why is everyone talking about it?

Well I’m here to answer that question.  Kind of.

I have been the Ignite Louisville program manager since 2011, and I can say that Ignite Louisville is the best experience for under-40 professionals to grow their careers that Louisville has to offer.  Period.  No, I’m not biased.

Ignite Louisville does a lot of things for a lot of different people.  Many come to the program wanting to improve their leadership skills.  Some want to get better at managing teams, some want to become better communicators, and others want to elevate their profile at their companies.   This program can do that.

Some participants are in a good place at work, but they want to start building the kind of network in the community that all of the influential people seem to have.  This program can do that too.

Others come to Ignite Louisville to get more involved in what’s going on in the city.  They know people who serve on boards, who volunteer, who really move the city forward, but they don’t know where to begin doing that for themselves.  Yeah, this program does that too.

If you like where you are at your company, don’t see any chance for growth, have no interest in getting more involved in the community and really don’t like meeting new people, then you should NOT apply for the Ignite Louisville program.

I still haven’t really explained what Ignite Louisville is, and there’s no easy way to do that in a few hundred words (and if I wrote more, there’s no way you’d read it).  So to quote Inigo Montoya, let me sum up: Ignite Louisville is a seven-month program that teaches leadership skills from the best trainers at some of the most successful companies in town.  You’ll spend one day per month learning from the best.

Then you’ll be put on a team and given the chance to help a nonprofit take a giant leap forward, to increase their capacity in a sustainable way.  Think of the Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge as a sort of nonprofit accelerator.  The outcome of which doesn’t just change lives, it saves lives.  So now you’re asking:

“Is there a big time commitment?”  Yeah.

“But I’m a busy person and I’m not sure I have the time!”  It’s manageable.

“I’d rather become better at my job, build lifelong connections, and get more involved in the community by only spending 2-3 hours a month with you?  Is that possible?” 

Ummmm… No.

Look on our website for the list of graduates, find one you know, and ask them about it.  The program has a ten year track record of success, and I bet our grads will tell you it’s one of the best things they’ve ever done.

Plus you get to hang out with me, which is worth the price of tuition all by itself.

If you want to talk more about it, give us a call.  You can reach me at amiller@leadershiplouisville.org or 561-5223.  You can also contact Jennifer Stevens, our recruitment manager (who also has much better hair than me) at jstevens@leadershiplouisville.org or 561-5231.  Applications are due by July 26th.  Admission is competitive, and no, I don’t get to pick who is in the class, but if you really want to get in, I recommend attaching a bag of peanut M&Ms with your letters of recommendation.  Just sayin’.

If you’re ready to apply, here’s how to get started.