Gila Valley Leadership: Sign up now

SAFFORD – The deadline to enroll in the upcoming Gila Valley Leadership Class XIV is Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

The Gila Valley Leadership Program was organized by the Graham County Chamber of Commerce in 2005. It is a ten month program with an emphasis on building leadership skills and knowledge. In addition, it provides an opportunity to learn more about community resources and the challenges rural communities face now and in the future.

Gila Valley Leadership is ideal for those who are interested in understanding and developing their own leadership abilities, attributes, and the skills necessary to make informed leadership decisions.  It is also for those individuals who have a strong desire to be involved with and support their community through service.


In addition to leadership workshops, the Gila Valley Leadership class convenes one day each month to learn in-depth about leadership roles within the community and issues related to these areas. Areas of focus may include:

  • Agriculture
  • Arizona Capitol and Legislature trip
  • Astronomy
  • Education, Arts, and Culture
  • Health Care and Human Services
  • Law Enforcement, Corrections, and Court System
  • Local Government
  • Mining
  • Natural Resources, Environment, and Renewable Energy

Learning occurs through lively discussions led by community leaders and issue experts combined with onsite tours of relevant facilities and operations.


Another component of Gila Valley Leadership is service. Each GVL class creates an opportunity to put their leadership skills and knowledge to work through a significant service project benefiting the local community. GVL class members are responsible for project selection, organization, fundraising, and successful completion of the project.


Participation is open to all residents of Graham and Greenlee Counties. The Chamber encourages a diverse group of applicants to apply each year from both the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Accomplished high school seniors are also invited to apply. The class size is limited to 15 members each year.


Gila Valley Leadership is a non-profit program sponsored by the Graham County Chamber of Commerce. Tuition for the 10-month program is $400 and includes all materials, a class polo shirt, meals, and travel expenses.


Participation is the key to an individual’s success in the Gila Valley Leadership Program. For this reason, each participant is expected to make a personal commitment to attend all scheduled classes and take an active role within their group and service project.


Upon successful completion of the GVL program, participants will be recognized at a graduation banquet. A graduation event will be held at the conclusion of the 10-month program in June.


Each graduate is encouraged to join the Gila Valley Leadership Alumni Association. Alumni are responsible for recruiting and referring new class members for the upcoming year. They may also choose to join the Alumni Committee to promote further networking, service projects, learning, and support the Josie Ramirez Scholarship Fund. There is a minimal $5.00 annual alumni association fee or you may pay a lifetime alumni association fee for $50.

Applications are available at the chamber office or via email request. For questions, contact the Chamber at 928-428-2511, or email the staff at