ELP Program Testimonials

"This is not just another leadership training or professional development program. If you are open and engage with this program, it will profoundly change your perception of yourself as a leader personally and professionally. You will both know yourself better and know how to better lead in all aspects of your life." Emerging Leader Program Graduate, 2023

"The Great Lakes Leadership Academy taught me needed tools to help me on my journey to become an effective leader.  It also afforded me the opportunity to create relationships with other professions that contribute to the environmental public health of Michigan.  I would recommend this course to anyone who is prepared to get comfortable being uncomfortable!"
-- Sara Simmonds, Kent County Health Department


"The Great Lakes Leadership Academy was a fantastic experience that broadened and deepened my understanding of what it means to be a leader. The skills, knowledge, and relationships continue to be an invaluable foundation in my personal life and professional career. I cannot imagine doing the natural resource and community work I do without the Emerging Leaders Program. I whole-heartily recommend it." 
- Spencer Kellum, The Stewardship Network

"A professor once told me that college teaches you how to think. I think GLLA has taught me how to feel. Not only to have empathy for myself but towards others and how that empathy can be the foundation for building bridges between diverse groups with differing views. The power of listening and using dialogue as a tool to reach understanding will always stay with me." Emerging Leader Program Graduate, 2023.

"The Great Lakes Leadership Academy, Emerging Leaders Program was the best leadership training I have ever attended.  It offered a balance of interpersonal awareness with practical leadership tools that are sustainable after the training sessions end.   This training was challenging because it required me to think differently, learn differently and commit differently to changing what I needed to change and appreciate what I was already good at. It provided a level of accountability to practice what we learned and be comfortable being uncomfortable while doing it.  Overall, it was life changing because it gave me the confidence through actual tools and techniques to move beyond the helplessness that can overpower us when we work within big systems."
- Connie Conklin, Livingston County Community Mental Health 

“The skills I learned during my participation in the GLLA ELP have been invaluable to my career.  Gaining knowledge on topics such as meeting management techniques, conflict resolution, and communication styles were immediately applicable to my work at MDOT. Continuing to develop the skills I learned by participating in this program will be essential to my professional development”
- Niles Annelin, Michigan Department of Transportation

“The challenges that our world faces are complex, the skills I gained from attending GLLA are proving themselves indispensable on multiple levels, both in my professional career and in my personal relationships”
-Amy Gilhouse, Lenawee Conservation District