Lacy leadership initiatives to combine under one roof

Two of the city’s most prominent brands in leadership training will live under the same roof with the creation of a new organization devoted to developing civic servants, bigwigs and power brokers.

The Lacy Leadership Association plans to change its name to Leadership Indianapolis and add the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series under the new not-for-profit umbrella organization, group leaders announced Thursday. The goal is to expand the common mission of both groups and become more proactive in developing leaders.

“We have a deep bench of talented community champions already, but that doesn’t mean we can rest,” said Linda Kirby, who has been named CEO of Leadership Indianapolis. “Our vision is to develop and mobilize leaders that can address and solve the issues and opportunities facing our growing metro area today and into the future."

More than 1,000 local executives have graduated from the SKL series, which was founded in 1976. It typically names an annual class of participants, who learn about community issues and service over the course of a year.

The Indy Chamber has hosted SKL as a program of the group, although its funding comes entirely from the not-for-profit Lacy Foundation and participant tuition. Kirby has been SKL’s program director since 2005.

Lacy Leadership Association initially was an outgrowth of the series, founded when its alumni wanted a way to stay connected and further promote leadership and philanthropy. In 1999, the association became its own not-for-profit organization, separate from SKL and the chamber.

The association has added leadership programs over the years including Opportunity Indianapolis, LEAD, Get on Board and Board Chair Summit.

In recent years, group leaders have discussed bringing the SKL program and the association under the same roof, Kirby said. A steering committee recommended that a new organization be formed to encompass SKL and the association’s programs.

“We were sister organizations, but we didn’t live together,” Kirby said.

Leadership Indianapolis will aim to improve the pipeline of city leaders, identify and fill gaps, and provide more opportunities for service.

“Leadership Indianapolis already has a powerful network of SKL and LLA alums doing big things around town,” said Brian Payne, president and CEO of the Central Indiana Community Foundation. “Now they need to harness and build upon that network in ways that improve the community.”

The SKL and LLA programs will be folded together over the next several months, Kirby said. Leadership Indianapolis expects to officially launch and announce specific initiatives in October.

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