Welcome to the High Lakes Leadership Initiative


This program year is currently in session. It is a learning opportunity for those who live, work or conduct business in Union County, Iowa. You are welcome to apply for the Class of 2018.

Nine sessions will be held on a bi-weekly basis starting January through May. The sessions are held at various locations throughout Union County and focus on learning the community capitals and instilling leadership skills.

We are now accepting nominations for the Class of 2018!

Go to Nomination Form


Personal Testimonies


“The High Lakes Leadership provided an excellent vehicle for learning about Union County and making the transition from a citizen on the sidelines to an active community leader. The information and networking opportunities made it a worthwhile experience for me as a young person, new to the area, who is interested in becoming involved.” -Taylor McClellan, (Class of 2012)

“Participating in HLL provided me with knowledge, resources and networking that was not only enlightening but inspiring and motivational” – Nancy Loudon, (Class of 2011)

“High Lakes Leadership was a great program, especially for a newcomer to the area. As I now have a broader knowledge of what Union County has to offer” – Dr. Linda Carroll, (Class of 2010)

“As a new resident of the community, this was one of the best possible outlets for me to learn about the people, places, and politics of Union County. Not only did I get to put faces to a lot of names, but I was able to interact with our community leaders. I have found several tools and resources that will help me be a better member of the new community I live in.” – Katie Carlton, (Class of 2015)

Program Description


The High Lakes Leadership Program is part of the High Lakes Leadership Initiative of the Union County Development Association. Recognizing the pivotal role leadership plays at all levels in community development, the program aims to strengthen existing and emerging leaders. The program supports development of local leaders to shape and lead the change they want to see in their community in which the live, work and play.

The program exposes individuals to a variety of personal, community and work leadership skills while showcasing what we have to offer in Union County, Iowa. It builds constructive relationships with local leaders and supports them to identify and act on ideas that contribute to community and regional economy.




Here you will find some of the most frequently asked questions about the High Lakes Leadership Program. Learn More

Alumni Gallery


The benefits and connections made during the High Lakes Leadership Program do not end at graduation. Graduates not only form friendships during this time but also develop useful business and community contacts that will benefit them now and in the future.

Nominate Someone Today

To be considered for the class, participants may be nominated by an employer/colleague or are welcome to apply directly. Nominations are accepted year round, but must be received by Sept. 30 to be eligible for the next year’s class.

Go to Nomination Form