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  • Do you want to have a more powerful, positive and lasting impact within your employment organization and/or your community? Are you ready to uncover, deepen and build upon your natural strengths as a leader, but need support in exploring the challenges of effective leadership? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we encourage you to submit an application for The Chamber Foundation’s Leadership Dutchess program.


    Group of people doing a team building exercise in the woods Leadership Dutchess is the signature program of The Chamber Foundation, Inc. and has been dedicated to educating and motivating citizens to serve in leadership roles within our community. This program was designed to foster the development of a group of professionals who grow and learn together over a nine-month period. Leadership Dutchess sessions and all course work contribute to the knowledge and understanding of leadership.

    Each session is conducted by prominent individuals from the public and private sector, sharing their knowledge on real-world topics of leadership/ municipal concerns impacting the Hudson Valley Region.


    • Recognize your personal leadership strengths and know how to use them most effectively.
    • Perceive and build on the strengths inherent in others to create powerful alliances to achieve mutual goals.
    • Learn how to use your personal influence to inspire and develop collaborative relationships.
    • Learn to respond effectively to dynamically changing conditions both in the workplace and in your community.
    • Become aware of your impact on others, learn to create your desired impact and begin to take responsibility for that impact in your professional life and in your community.
    • Be ready to assume new responsibilities and leadership roles in your organization and in your community.
    • Develop personal/professional growth due to exposure to community issues and leaders.
    • Participate in an informative, eye-opening, thought-provoking program.
    • Visit “restricted” or difficult to access programs and facilities in our county.
    • Open a window for volunteer opportunities.
    • Become a member of an exclusive community of over 800 Leadership Dutchess graduates.

    Class of 2023 Details:

    Leadership Dutchess will kick off in October with graduation in June.

    • Robust sessions will cover a variety of leadership and personal development topics.
    • In-person sessions are planned with the ability to participate virtually.
    • Enhanced opportunity to interact with local nonprofits.
    • Small scholarships are available on a limited basis to nonprofits and sole proprietors. Payment plans are available as well.

    All programming will have the ability to go virtual if needed. Online platforms will be used to help continue learning in the case that in-person meetings are not possible. 

    Attendance policy: No more than 16 hours can be missed by each participant - late arrivals, early departures, and appointments during class also count toward missed hours.

    Application Information:

    Each applicant must have a recommendation submitted from their employer. Applicants will be reviewed by the committee; select applicants will be granted an interview and notified of acceptance. Class size is limited. For more information on the Leadership Dutchess program please contact Laura Doe, Director of Programming and Development for The Chamber Foundation, at 845.454.1700 ext. 1025 or by email at laura@chamberfdn.org.


    Tuition for the 2022-2023 Leadership Dutchess program is $1,595. This covers all costs including meals and all course materials. Payment options are available.  Tuition is non-refundable.


    A limited amount of scholarships based on financial need are available. Please contact the Foundation office at 845.454.1700 ext. 1025 or email laura@chamberfdn.org.

    In addition, Leadership Dutchess candidates may apply for the Charles S. North Leadership Advancement Scholarship.

    Charles S. North Leadership Advancement Scholarship

    In recognition of the outstanding leadership of Dutchess County Regional Chamber Commerce Past President and CEO Charles S. North, a scholarship was established in 2014 upon his retirement.

    Awarded to any individual living or working in Dutchess County, the Charles S. North Leadership Advancement Scholarship signifies Mr. North’s commitment to inspiring and mentoring leaders across the region.

    To apply, fill out the Leadership Dutchess Application and check the box for “Charles S. North Leadership Advancement Scholarship”. To qualify you must meet the following criteria: 

    • Live or work in Dutchess County or for a member of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
    • Attach a 500 word essay expressing how the program will help you advance your professional career. Incorporate your sentiments on what defines a great leader. In your essay, articulate in 100 additional words the financial need for the scholarship.
    • Applicant's employer must be a member of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
    • You must establish a financial need and desire to participate in the program.

    Full and/or partial scholarships will be awarded.



    • Shelby Adrian – Kirchoff Companies
    • Kerstin Anderson – Adams Fairacre Farms
    • Tania Arroyo – Adams Fairacre Farms
    • Tina Arroyo – iHeart Media
    • Simone Bardowell – United Real Estate
    • Carolyn Bell – RBT CPAs, LLP
    • Erica Bush – Hudson Valley Credit Union
    • Cynthia Cretara – Tompkins Community Bank
    • Anthony Crisafulli – Peckham Industries, Inc.
    • Maribel Cruz – Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie
    • Colleen Dorney – Dutchess Tourism
    • Demaj Ffriend – Rhinebeck Bank
    • Caitlyn Germinaro – Wraparound Services of the Hudson Valley
    • Lucy Herrera – Rhinebeck Bank
    • Jennifer Hess – Peckham Industries, Inc.
    • Gail Marquez – Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie
    • Chelsea Moore – Meadows – Community at Brookmeade
    • Erin Moran – Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.
    • Nikki Moravec – RBT CPAs, LLP
    • Cassandra Paupst – Rhinebeck Bank
    • Jose Peralta – Air National Guard
    • Heather Perry – Atlas Security Services
    • Samantha Riley – Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County
    • Monika Simpson – Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union
    • Colleen Spinner – Peckham Industries, Inc.
    • Darcelle Taylor, Bread Alone Bakery
    • Jessica Terwilliger – Hudson Valley Credit Union
    • Nicholas Wermuth – Anderson Center for Autism
    • Stephanie Werskey – Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce
    • Brian Zeiden – The Baptist Home at Brookmeade Community



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