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Mission & History


To develop, promote, and inspire community-based leadership skills and encourage a deeper understanding and appreciation of Cumberland County.


Inspiring a legacy of influential community leaders.


Leadership Cumberland began as Leadership Carlisle in the fall of 1989 after a year of research and planning by the Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce. The name change in 2004 and physical move of the office to the west shore in 2009 reflects a commitment to a more inclusive county-wide program;  yet the mission has not wavered–to develop a program that would serve the county by developing individuals to become effective leaders in the workplace and community.

Since that time over 500 individuals have graduated from Leadership Cumberland’s Fellow program. Our Fellows, as participants are called, represent a diverse group of emerging leaders from banking, the law, healthcare, government, production, education and nonprofits. While differing in age, background and profession they share one common trait—the motivation and desire to take on greater responsibilities in the community and at work. We support that desire by providing them with the skill sets, information and networking needed to make that happen.

In 2014 LC added Executive Connections to meet the needs of high-level managers new to their position and/or the region. The goal of the series is to acquaint the participants with the history and culture of the region; political and educational structures; economic strengths and challenges; and a view of our future. The five sessions are held over dinner at destination locations during late winter/early spring.

The Junior Leadership Cumberland (JLC) Program was added in the Spring of 2020. The program is designed to familiarize high school students in their Junior year with the various elements that form a strong and dynamic community and to help students develop leadership skills. The curriculum acquaints participants with community needs, opportunities, challenges, and resources. It gives them the opportunity to develop leadership, communication, and team-building skills. It also provides them with the opportunity to interact with students from other schools, community leaders, and decision-makers.