What is WDMLA?

About the Academy

West Des Moines Leadership Academy brand has achieved stature based on the results it is creating with supporting evidence seen in career achievement, business growth and servant leadership.

Unlike other metro leadership programs, where focus is on community governance and education, the West Des Moines Leadership Academy (WDMLA) places substantial emphasis on honing skills so participants will better lead self, others and community.

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The course begins in late August with graduation in late May
or early June. In between are nine days jam-packed with experiential learning; workshops designed to enhance the understanding of one’s own leadership style and how it impacts others.
Upon graduation, participants share a keen appreciation for the insights they’ve gained and an excitement for the future application of skills learned. With diploma in hand, they better influence others, impact decisions more effectively and lead with confidence.

Mission

The West Des Moines Leadership Academy offers a three-tiered approach of leadership skills training focused on Leading Self, Leading Others, and Leading Community, specifically towards:

  • Developing and enhancing leadership skills of participants
  • Educating participants regarding issues facing our community
  • Stimulating increased leadership throughout our community

Vision

The West Des Moines Leadership Academy exists to positively influence the future of West Des Moines and the Greater Des Moines community through strategic leadership development and workforce retention.

Class size and representation

Class size is limited to provide the best environment for interaction, real-life applications and outstanding learning. Each class will be comprised of participants representing a cross-section of the community.

How to Apply

Each candidate must provide two letters of recommendation addressing demonstrated leadership ability, character, credibility, and community interest and involvement.

Applications for the 2019-2020 class of the West Des Moines Leadership Academy were accepted through 5 p.m. on Friday, May 31, 2019.
We invite you to reach out if you have any questions whatsoever by contacting Jeana Schultz, VP Operations at jeana@wdmchamber.org
or by calling 515.225.6009.

FAQ

While nominations definitely help a person with the process of applying, they are not required.

The West Des Moines Leadership Academy is for anyone who lives, works or plays in West Des Moines. Anyone who is interested in the success of West Des Moines is encouraged to apply.

The tuition for the West Des Moines Leadership Academy includes course binder, hand-out materials, presenter fees, group transportation, meals and class certificate.  The cost is as follows:

West Des Moines Chamber members: $1550

Non-Chamber members: $2050

You will receive:

  • Over 30 hours of leadership training over the course of 9 classes;
  • An enhanced understanding and appreciation of community strengths, needs, and prospects;
  • The opportunity to build solid relationships with approximately 30 other students, 7 advisory committee members, and more than 280 alumni
  • The opportunity to engage with numerous community leaders from West Des Moines schools, government, non-profits, health care entities, and more; and
  • The chance to make a real difference in the West Des Moines community via an organized class project.

The program was developed with the intention of building leaders in the WDM area. Each of the classes has an educational session that adds to the participant’s knowledge about a specific topic or area of community activity PLUS a leadership skill development component. Situational leadership, conflict management, poverty simulations, team building, coaching, personal branding and speaking for success are just a few of the leadership skills you will learn or improve upon.

2018-2019 Class Project

The 2018-2019 West Des Moines Leadership Academy, sponsored by the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, presented Dueling for Humanity – an event of music, food and fun, to benefit West Des Moines Human Services (WDMHS) in celebration of their upcoming 40th anniversary.

Dueling for Humanity was held May 2, 2019, from 5:00–8:00 p.m. at Blue Moon Piano Bar. At the event, food, beverage and live entertainment were provided, including dueling pianos headlined by Tony Bohnenkamp from the national recording group The Nadas

West Des Moines Human Services has been assisting low-income, the elderly, and disabled residents since 1979. WDMHS currently provides assistance to more than 1,600 households in West Des Moines and surrounding western suburbs. WDMHS offers emergency assistance for rent and utilities, transportation, handyman services, youth recreational assistance, clothing, and food assistance in addition to many other programs for those struggling with poverty. Their staff strives to create an environment where those seeking assistance experience compassion, acceptance, and commitment.