A Program for Emerging Leaders

Beginning in 2004, the Union County Leadership Institute has offered countless professionals an experience of hands on education and networking

The program has five main objectives:

  • Exposure to key issues affecting residents and businesses in Union County
  • Exposure to influential leaders in business and government in Union County
  • Networking and building relationships with 25 professionals throughout the ten month class
  • Hands on education and experiences through planning a class session and completing a quality of life research project
  • Increase knowledge of leadership traits and identifying personal leadership styles

Leadership Students should have high standards of personal quality and integrity, respect, responsibility, reliability and a sincere interest in community issues.

Throughout the ten month program, Leadership Students are empowered to be an integral part of the class day planning process and, therefore, enabled to be visionary and active leaders in the community as they explore critical issues with knowledgeable speakers, effective facilitators and a variety of experimental activities. Leadership Students are also required to complete a community-directed research project aimed at affecting the quality of life in Union County


The Union County Leadership Institute solicits applications from all Chamber members and their associates. Nominations are received and Leadership Students are selected on their own merits through the application process conducted by the Leadership Institute Selection Committee. The class meets on the first Thursday of each month, beginning in September, to discuss critical issues and topics as well as leadership skill-building through the program’s completion in May


The Leadership Institute Selection Committee looks for several qualities in potential students. In order to be selected, applicants must: Be in positions of responsibility, such as managers, supervisors, directors, business owners, etc. – Demonstrate a sincere interest in community issues and a willingness to serve the community – Show a record of achievement or interest in community activities which indicate his/her leadership ability – Live or work in Union County and intend to remain so in the foreseeable future.

A diligent effort will be made to select class members who represent a cross section of Chamber businesses; it is this business, geographic and demographic diversity among class members that generates much of the meaningful personal interaction and personal learning in the leadership program


Robert (Bob) L. Whitman is the Director of the Leadership Institute.

Bob was born, reared and educated in LaRue, Ohio. Bob is the past Director of Chamber Programs and Membership of the Union County Chamber of Commerce in Marysville, Ohio.

A retired school superintendent of 24 years, Bob received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from the Ohio State University and his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.

A retired school superintendent of 24 years, Bob received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from the Ohio State University and his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.

Throughout his career, he has been actively involved in research and writing. Books he has written include Planning, Promoting and Passing School Tax Issues, A Resource Manual for School Levy Campaign Leaders and Jim Thorpe and the Oorang Indians: The NFL’s Most Colorful Franchise, and Jim Thorpe: Athlete of The Century.


Q: Do I need to live in Union County to participate?
A: One of the goals of the Leadership Institute is to raise leaders who will invest back into our community; therefore, all Leadership Students must live OR work in Union County and intend to remain so in the foreseeable future.


Q: Who should participate in the Leadership Institute?
A: Our desire is to build capacities of 21st-century leaders. Leadership Students will greatly expand their knowledge and understanding of Union County and will learn how to utilize their leadership skills by getting involved in the community. Students will participate, and organize, classes where you will learn more about your own leadership skills, as well as meet influential community leaders, learn about the government and school systems and greatly expand your personal and professional network.


Q: What if I have scheduling conflicts during some of the sessions? Should I still apply?
A: Absolutely! While attendance and participation are critically important, we also understand Leadership Students have commitments that may take priority throughout the 10-month program. Scheduling conflicts should be addressed with the Leadership Institute Selection Committee during the application process.


Q: What does the program cost?
A: The total cost of the Leadership Institute is $750. Checks are to be made payable to the Union County Chamber of Commerce, attn.: Leadership Institute and should be mailed to 227 E. 5th St., Marysville OH 43040. Full payment must be received by orientation in August.


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The Union County Chamber of Commerce, Union County-Marysville Economic Development Partnership, and the Union County Convention and Visitors Bureau shall champion economic development, community improvement, and business viability for the betterment of Union County.

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Union County member directory (Print edition)
Union County eGift Card
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