Gila Valley Leadership Applications are open for Cohort 16

The applications for Gila Valley Leadership Cohort 16 (2021 – 2022) are open. Gila Valley Leadership is a 10-month networking and leadership development program available to all current and future leaders. The application is available at and is due on Friday, July 17th.

Cohort members meet for monthly discussions and case studies to better understand how our community functions. We will discuss our local economy, governments, and systems. Members will take part in case studies of the commercial, agricultural, educational, governmental, public safety, and natural assets in our community. They will lead a training for non-profit board members, participate in a delegation to the Arizona State Capitol, and are invited to be members of an optional delegation to Washington, DC and New York City. A calendar of discussion, case study, and delegation dates is available at

Alma Flores Valles, President of the Gila Valley Leadership Committee, and finance officer at the City of Safford participated in Cohort 14. “The Gila Valley Leadership Cohort is an experience into the diverse economy of our community.  To see and speak with leaders in multiple areas including education, government, mining, agriculture, and many more provides an opportunity for growth and understanding as a leader in our community.  You will find yourself with a variety of networking opportunities with other leaders, and the alumni you’re sharing these experiences with will become not only resources but friends.”

Corina Pino-Reyes, of Valley Tele-Com Group and Vice President of the Gila Valley Leadership Committee, said, “The networking you do throughout the program is just so important….It’s such a wide scope of people that you meet that you otherwise would not have the opportunity to meet.”

Chalene Preston from the Eastern Arizona College Admissions Department and Treasurer of the Gila Valley Leadership Committee, said, “I loved going to the Capitol. I am very interested in how the political system works in Arizona, and so getting to meet all of our representatives was really a big deal for me.”

The Gila Valley Leadership program was set up by Sheldon Miller and Danny Smith sixteen years ago to promote professional development and education for elected officials, board members, and community volunteers.

The Graham County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff are excited to launch Cohort 16 after suspending the program for a year due to COVID-19. The staff encourage interested residents to contact them at 602-833-0258 or for more information.