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We've heard from our Participants!

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"The Charmm'd Foundation Leadership Academy has provided me with invaluable insights into effective leadership strategies, communication techniques, and personal development. The mentorship component of the Academy allows for relationship building between peers from other organizations, resulting in a group of people who you can rely on but are outside of your day-to-day operations. The Leadership Academy has been the perfect combination of focusing on emotional intelligence techniques, evolving my own self-awareness, and developing a mindset that empowers me to become a better leader."



One of the most important aspects of leadership is bringing out the best in others and using strategies such as understanding yourself and your team, ethical reflection, active listening, empathy, effectively communicating, and empowering others. While tactical skills can be learned in the moment, knowing how to engage with others is often missed when moving into a leadership role. Mastering these skills is fundamental for achieving effectiveness and success as a leader. The Charmm'd Foundation's Leadership Academy program is for those who are new to leadership, are being considered for a leadership role within the next couple of years and/or are looking for fundamental training on the people side of leadership.


The Leadership Academy offers multiple opportunities for Participants to build strong networks through workshops and Peer Advisory Group discussions for continued growth, support, and friendships.

Throughout the program, Participants will enjoy learning from Keynote Speakers, Panel Experts, Community Speakers, Mentors, and fellow Participants. Participants will collaborate in Peer Advisory Groups (PAGs) alongside their Mentors to receive guidance on their self-identified goals. They will engage in discussions about insights from the workshops, solve problems, and contemplate thought-provoking questions to foster strategic thinking.

To ensure a high-quality learning experience, Participants who have a strong desire to lead and better their organization will be chosen. A pre-requisite for participation in the Leadership Academy will include approval from the Participant’s leader and an exploratory interview with the candidate. Acceptance into the program will be communicated on an ongoing basis.

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"Charmm’d has given me so much already with all of the contacts made in Charmm’d, words of wisdom along the way, and the opportunity to get to know myself and my colleagues better.

With the tools shared, I garnered the strength, confidence, and knowledge to change my employment trajectory. I will be forever grateful for all of you at Charmm’d and for this journey.

I LOVE my job now and LOVE going to work every day."


    At a great nonprofit price, Participants will: Learn from Keynote Speakers, Panel Experts, Community Presenters, Mentors, and fellow Participants. Have a self-identified goal to help enhance their communication skills for years to come. Establish an understanding of self through the DISC profile and authenticate who they want to be as a leader. Gain an understanding of how to make ethical decisions through the lens of their values. Build the powerful habit of truly listening to become an effective communicator. Be introduced to the nine saboteurs and how to turn the negative emotions they generate into positive thoughts to manage our daily lives. Obtain skills to handle difficult situations and have crucial conversations while managing their own emotions. Take in how to be an empathetic leader. Capture best practices and the value and safety of collaborating with a strong network of colleagues. Grasp what is required to lead. Acquire new perspectives, find clarity, and walk away with more confidence. Take in ideas to bring back to your organization.
    Mentoring is a proven approach to enhance learning. At each workshop, Peer Advisory Groups will be hosted by Community Leaders (Mentors) experienced in their own leadership journey. Mentors will share their knowledge and serve as a sounding board for Participants. Following each workshop, Mentors will answer any questions Participants have related to the program content. Mentors will facilitate the PAGs held between the workshops allowing the members to reflect on the learnings, share new perspectives, ideas, concerns and walk away with answers that can propel everyone forward. They also support, encourage, and offer advice on Participant’s self-identified communication goal on an ongoing basis. Click here to see our current class of 2023 Mentors. We are currently recruiting 2024 Mentors. Interested in being a Mentor? Contact Susan Gibson, Program Director at
    Participants will enjoy a series of workshops and Lunch & Learns that provide a multifaceted learning structure. Each program is designed to address theory, application, and practice. Keynote Speakers, Panel Experts, and Community Presenters will present theories on the people side of leadership. During the workshops and Lunch & Learns, Mentors may be asked to lead their PAGs in breakout room conversations and share their own knowledge of the topic as appropriate. In each session, Participants will have the opportunity to claim action items to put what was learned into practice. They will have multiple opportunities to discuss their progress with others for accountability. LEARN MORE >
    Peer Advisory Groups offer a platform for Participants to share what they are learning, and implementing and the status of actions claimed during the last workshop. Participants can openly discuss their goals, seeking guidance and support from their peers and Mentor. PAG discussions foster a safe and collaborative space for brainstorming, problem-solving, and cultivating meaningful relationships. These discussions are led by the Mentors of each Peer Advisory Group. Mentors and Participants will decide to meet virtually, in person, or through a combined hybrid approach. Dates / times for Peer Advisory Group Discussions: March 14, 2024 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM CST April 30, 2024 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM CST July 11, 2024 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM CST October 8, 2024 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM CST December 5, 2024 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM CST Here is what Participants can expect from their PAG: A confidential space to learn, grow, and create connections with a diverse group of peers. An opportunity to discuss and collaborate on current leadership topics and practices with talented leaders such as yourself. Attain a variety of resources that can be put in your leadership toolbox. Accountability and support from others while developing new skills and gaining different perspectives and confidence. Leaders supporting leaders… learning and growing together.
    The Leadership Academy is open to a select group of tax-exempt Participants. To qualify, the following criteria must be met: Approval from the Participant’s leader and an exploratory interview with the Candidate. The Candidate has one or more of the following qualifications: (1) A growth mindset. (2) New to leadership. (3) Is being considered for a leadership role within the next couple of years. (4) Is looking for fundamental training on the people side of leadership. The Candidate has the desire and drive to learn leadership skills and what leading others entails. The Candidate is motivated to do better for the organization and the community. Charmm’d believes the Candidate will be a good fit with others in the program, all supporting one another and their growth. They are at similar points in their career as others in the program and thus can identify with fellow peers and build relationships.
    Requirements for Participants and their Leader: We ask leaders to allow Participants time to attend workshops and Peer Advisory Group discussions. From the menu of professional development programs, participants choose and attend at least five of the seven offered that align with their goals. Participants come to each program and Peer Advisory Group with a growth mindset and are prepared to learn and enhance the experience for all. Participants will engage in a mid-year check-in with a Charmm’d representative to measure growth and see how we can make this program even better for you. Participants will claim a communication goal prior to the start of the program and with the support of their Mentor and PAG work towards that goal throughout the year. Participants will leave each workshop with an action item to practice strengthening their leadership skills. We ask for feedback along the way. Hearing from others allows us to gain insights, hear new ideas, and continually work to provide high-quality programming for our leaders. An estimated 30 hours will be required for workshops and Peer Advisory Group attendance.
    Are you ready to engage? Charmm’d will have conversations with both the Candidate and their Leader to ensure fit. To schedule a call and learn more about next steps, contact Susan Gibson, Program Director by email at or by phone at 847-883-9932. You can also schedule a call with her here.
    Acceptance into the program will be communicated on an ongoing basis.
  • COST
    We are able to offer this program to our leaders at the deeply discounted price of $550 per Participant. Comparable, programs through other entities can cost upwards of $1,000 or more.
    Our Purpose: Realizing that leaders have a huge impact on future success, The Charmm’d Foundation was created to focus on leadership development for each individual's own personal happiness and the success they will create because of this. The Foundation provides services and resources that will help unlock the untapped leadership potential and enhance the leadership capacity among primarily tax-exempt organizations and ultimately have leaders working together to build an even healthier community. Our Vision: Strong Leaders. Collaborative Organizations. Healthy Communities. …Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond. What You Can Expect from Charmm'd... We aim to provide and exceed your expectations based on what is shared in this brochure. We do frequent evaluations for feedback to ensure we are making your time worthwhile and show our commitment to you in your leadership journey. We create a safe environment. We focus on making sure you walk away feeling heard and respected. Because you matter, we strive to empower you! This is our journey and what we strive for everyday... We aren’t here for a long time so let’s create the best life we can! Search for your ideas in the clouds. Go slow to go fast. Find love in helping others succeed. Challenge yourself. Value those around you…even those you don’t like. Act with intention. Feel free to be you…every time. Be wildly curious.Welcome and honor the diversity of others. Push the boundaries. Show passion in all you do. Be a leader. Focus relentlessly on your vision and make your ideas realities. Laugh, a lot. Know you are not alone. Listen more than you talk. Stay humble. Embrace the unexpected. Be uniquely you! Act ethically. Make your best even better. Dream big. Receive others with a heart of peace. Reflect on how you affect others. Collaborate. Go all-in. Welcome white space and relish in the pause. Be honest from your heart and your gut. Seek to learn from your failures and move on. Grow those around you. Be a role model. Hold safety in the highest regard. Aim to exceed expectations. Be accountable. Welcome feedback. Say what you’re going to do and do what you say. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing. Ignore what’s normal and play in the unknown. Act with compassion. Celebrate. Ask the hard questions. Imagine the possible not the impossible. Together we can make a difference. Let’s make it happen!
    Click here to access our class of 2024 program page.
    Click here to access resources.
    Click here to access resources.

"The Charmm'd Foundation has increased my leadership skills by offering me best practices that enhance my managerial style and develop my performance as a leader."


"The high-impact speakers in Leadership Academy have been covering resonant topics and providing essential tools for my leadership journey. I have also benefited from being in a cohort with people from a variety of professions and disciplines who share my desire to grow personally and professionally. This experience has exceeded my expectations."


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