Desert Foothills Leadership Academy

Energize, Engage, and Educate Our Future Leaders

 CLASS OF 2024 is now full.

Check back for Class of 2025 in April. 

Every organization profits from people with strong leadership and savvy professional skills. But leadership skills training can be inconvenient, boring, and expensive for businesses and their employees. Therefore, the Desert Foothills Leadership Academy has created fun, interactive monthly sessions packed with exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences that help participants feel strongly connected to their community. Academy participants take pride in becoming future leaders through insight, action, and creating relationships that give back, all at an unmatched value. Graduates feel confident from personal leadership growth and the new professional network they’ve built that will help them sustainably manage and thrive into the future. 

Now is the time to join other emerging leaders and get rewarded for taking action. Apply for the 2024 Academy today.


The Desert Foothills Leadership (DFL) Academy is driven by a strong community desire to be a part of the creation of our future leaders.  The partnerships mission is to educate, energize, and engage emerging leaders with a goal of enriching community life while responsibly mapping our future and sustaining our natural resources for generations to come.  All of this is done through a focus on strengthening participants understanding of the Past, Current, and Future potential  of the Sonoran Desert Foothills.


The Desert Foothills Leadership (DFL) Academy was founded in 2018 through an exclusive partnership between The Carefree-Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce and The Holland Center.

“The Academy was created after an unmet need was identified through focus groups and discussions with our members and community stakeholders,” said Patty Villeneuve, Executive Director of The Carefree-Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce. “Our hope is to fill this need and become an important component in the development of future leaders.”

“There is so much to know about the Desert Foothills Community and our partnership with the Chamber will allow us to tap the necessary resources and knowledge base. Our graduates will gain the insight needed to best serve our community,” said Jennifer Rosvall, Executive Director of the Holland Center.”


  • Enhance your personal leadership and professional skills
  • Build the confidence and skills required to take on leadership roles in the Desert Foothills Region
  • Broaden your breadth and scope of knowledge about the Desert Foothills Region  
  • Create relationships with region stake holders
  • Develop valuable professional networks 
  • Gain insight as to where your talents and goals will best serve the Desert Foothills Region


  • Local Issues
  • Health Care
  • Tourism
  • Technology
  • Leadership Development
  • Water, Solar, Energy, Utilities  
  • Sustainability 
  • Innovation
  • Education
  • Land Use/Growth
  • Social Services
  • Transportation
  • Arts/Theatre
  • Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG)
  • Public Safety


  • The Academy accepts up to 25 participants
  • The participant selection process includes submission of application, Resume, and in-person interview
  • Participants make a one-year commitment to ensure completion of the Academy
  • Academy Leadership days are the second Thursday of the month 
  • Program Tuition is $500.00


  • Strengthen company ties with local communities
  • Valuable networking with potential partners, future employees, and emerging leaders
  • Your employee participants will graduate with enhanced company loyalty and become your brand ambassadors
  • Your company will be recognized as a valuable resource and thought-leader in the future of Desert Foothills Region 
  • Through your stakeholder position in the Academy,  your company will be exposed to education and insight that will help you manage and thrive into the future

Contact Information

Desert Foothills Leadership Academy