Leadership Oakland

Leadership Oakland News


25th Anniversary Fast Facts

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LO has held an annual kick off retreat for the life of the program.  The first retreat was held for LOI at Addision Oaks.  Can you name the location of the first overnight retreat?  
Colombiere Center, LOIII

Job Posting - Executive Director for Leadership Oakland

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Please help us circulate the following job description.  We are looking for great candidates to continue the LO tradition of excellence and to help us grow into the future!


Job Posting - Executive Director for Leadership Oakland

Introduction - Founded in 1990, Leadership Oakland is dedicated to bringing leaders together from across the region to develop and enhance personal, professional and community leadership skills. Serving over 477 private and public organizations, Leadership Oakland consistently delivers a unique set of interactive educational experiences to its participants. These experiences are combined with the opportunity to learn about available resources and challenges facing our community/region. Rich networking opportunities provide the support needed to take high-potential leaders to the next level.

Leadership Oakland’s vision is to be the premier leadership development and networking program in Southeast Michigan.

Leadership Oakland’s mission is to develop a network of diverse and influential leaders by exposing them to regional resources and issues, and challenging them to reach their full personal, professional and public leadership potential.

Strengths - Leadership Oakland is a financially stable, 501 (c)(3) non-profit. The organization is recognized for providing quality programming, superior customer service, and one of the best leadership networks in the region. Leadership Oakland has served as a model for other leadership organizations in Michigan and the United States. One of the strongest features of Leadership Oakland is the on-going engagement of our alumni. Over 1,100 Leadership Oakland alumni are currently engaged in leading positions in our community, region, and beyond.

Organization Goals – Leadership Oakland’s goals include providing continued quality program curriculum to Cornerstone participants, Junior Leadership Oakland, and Advanced Leadership Institute, as well as quality networking experiences for participants and alumni. Future goals include enhanced donor/fundraising activities, sensitivity to regional issues and expanding diversity and inclusion efforts.

Programs - Current core programs and services of Leadership Oakland include:

Cornerstone- Each year a class of approximately 50 individuals complete this year-long program consisting of a two day retreat and monthly (8) educational sessions. Participants form a strong bond as a class, gain access to a rich network of experts and people of influence, and are exposed to the treasures and challenges facing our region, state and country.

Jr Leadership Oakland- A three day program held each June for young people entering their senior year of High School in the fall. Speakers, experiences, field trips and engaging activities lead to greater self-awareness, skill and commitment as growing leaders.

Advanced Leadership Institute - This small group of graduates of the Cornerstone Program takes a deep dive into their own leadership skills and abilities. A strong commitment to growth is a prerequisite.

Leadership Oakland Breakfast of Champions – This is a series of 4 breakfast events annually. Lifelong learning and relationship building are two outcomes.

A variety of other events are held throughout the year for networking, development and community service.

Organizational Structure - Leadership Oakland is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of 20 program alumni. Board members are eligible for two, three-year terms. Officers include a President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary/Program Chair. Each office is a one year position. Board members are active in both Board and operational committees.

Leadership Oakland currently employs three part-time individuals: One Assistant to the Director and two Program Managers.

There are currently 20 standing committees and approximately 200 volunteers that assist with planning events and activities. Additionally, over 125 volunteer speakers present to participants throughout the year. Meetings are frequently held in the Leadership Oakland office located in Troy, Michigan. Most events are held at locations that best facilitate the program objectives.

Qualifications - The Executive Director must be thoroughly committed to Leadership Oakland’s mission. All candidates should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience. Concrete demonstrable experience and other qualifications include:

 Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred

 Experience working with non-profit board or significant volunteer experience working closely with non-profit organization

 Experience with planning and management of educational programs and services

 Demonstrated experience in event planning, marketing and public relations

 Demonstrated successful experience in fundraising and donor development (including personal solicitation)

 Possess strong written and verbal communication skills

 At least 2 years of supervisory experience

 Track record of sound budgetary and fiscal management

Leadership Style/Personal Qualities – In addition to an unwavering commitment to providing quality programs, the Leadership Oakland Executive Director will be expected to:

 participate as a “hands-on” active daily contributor, working in conjunction with and alongside of the Leadership Oakland administrative team

 be an approachable, trustworthy confidant, counselor and coach to alumni, participants and other community leaders

 be energetic, creative, positive, mission-driven and fun

 present and act as Chief Spokesperson for Leadership Oakland in the community

 take initiative, be decisive and yet know when and how to collaborate with the Board of Directors to meet organizational needs and objectives

 analytic, problem solver

 engage and network with a wide range of diverse stakeholders

 cultivate existing Board, member and staff relationships


 Salary/Benefits – Negotiable

How to apply – Interested candidates should send a cover memo with contact information and resume to the attention of Kevin Wisely at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it on or before October 31, 2014. Applications will be handled in a confidential manner. Interviews are anticipated to be held during the month of November/December with final selection occurring at the end of the calendar year. Anticipated start date is on or around March 1, 2015.

For additional questions and inquiries contact: Kevin Wisely at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  


Josh Linkner to Address Regional Leaders at Leadership Oakland BOC Event

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OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich., July 9, 2014 – Best selling author, CEO of Detroit Venture Partners, and regional champion, Josh Linkner will kick off the Leadership Oakland Breakfast of Champions Series on August 26, 2014 at the MSU Management Education Center in Troy.  He has just released his new book “The Road to Reinvention.”  

 “After the success of his first book and after reading his new book, we knew we needed to bring Josh in for a discussion that will allow our members and the public to discover ways to drive change in their personal  lives, businesses and the region ”stated Chris Scharrer, Executive Director of Leadership Oakland.  “Over the next 12 months we will be celebrating 25 years of successful leadership development and outstanding programming.  Josh will kick off both our Breakfast Series and our 25th Anniversary Celebration.”

In the book Linkner asserts, “Change is unavoidable. You need to decide: will you drive change or be driven by it?  By choosing to deliberately reimagine your own status quo, you can secure a strong future for both your company and your career.”  Disrupt. Retool. Create.  Overhaul.  Join us to Reinvent!  

For more information about Josh and his new book visit http://joshlinkner.com/the-road-to-reinvention/
To register for the series or for an individual breakfast go to www.leadershipoakland.com.

The event is sponsored HAP, DTE Energy Foundation, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, McDonald Hopkins, Oakland University School of Business Administration, Corp! Magazine and Center for Computer Resources.


2014 - 2015 LO Board of Directors

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Leadership Oakland Board Elects New Officers and Directors

Beginning July 1, 2014 Leadership Oakland will operate with a new slate of officers and directors.  Two members of the board are retiring due to term limits as outlined in the organizational by-laws.  Retiring from the board are current President, Charlon Hibbard of Mary Kay Cosmetics and Nancy Scarlet, Oakland County.  Both individuals were congratulated and thanked for their service at the Leadership Oakland Annual Meeting held June 20, 2014. 

New to the board are: Christine Santos, TTI Global, Susan Gibson, Corp! Magazine, Tammi Shepherd, Oakland County, and DeAndre Lipscomb, HAP. 

Serving as Officers for the coming fiscal year are:  President, Sue Novak, Plante Moran, Vice President, Kevin Wisely, Genisys Credit Union, Treasurer, Michelle Crocket, Education Achievement Authority of MI, and Secretary and Program Chair, Phil Korovesis, Butzel Long.  Incoming President Sue Novak said “Our board is comprised of successful committed individuals that enjoy working together to advance quality regional leadership development. Graduates of our program really are effective leaders in their communities, homes and businesses.  It is a great program to support as a board!”  Everyone on the board is a graduate of the year long Cornerstone program and have demonstrated a passion for the mission of the organization.

Leadership Oakland Executive Director, Chris Scharrer commented on the board; “This wonderful group of leaders takes their role as a governance body very seriously.  At the same time they have fun and create a culture of support for one another.  It makes me love my job!”  Other board members serving during the 2014-2015 program year include:  Kitty Adler, Townsend Hotel, Pete Auger, former City Manager, City of Auburn Hills, Pat Blount, St. John Providence Health System, Mike Dixon, Beaumont Health System, Mike Elinski, Homayune Ghaussi, Warner, Norcross & Judd, Scott Hiipakka, Patriot Services, Jennifer Korman, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Jim Piper, Ralco Industries, Ken Randazzo, DTE Energy, Michael Silverstein, Oakland University and Kristie Veenstra, Humana.


2014 Junior Leadership Oakland Program

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2014 Junior Leadership Oakland Program

Leadership Oakland Offers Youth Leadership Program

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich., April 1, 2014 – Leadership Oakland will once again take an active approach to get young people to explore their own potential and contribute to their communities with its Junior Leadership Oakland program this summer.  Junior LO is a three-day leadership program for students who will be entering their senior year of high school in the fall and wish to build upon their leadership abilities.  With no cost to students, the program seeks to generate opportunities that will ignite leadership potential, create exposure to a wide variety of career paths, and provide interaction with a network of business professionals and community leaders.

“We want to inspire these young people with a passion for Michigan so they can provide the future leadership we need to regain our position as a strong state,” comments Leadership Oakland Executive Director, Chris Scharrer.

2014 marks the seventh year Junior Leadership Oakland will take place.  The program was originally set up as a Cornerstone Class project, and has benefited well over 200 high school students since its inception.  Over the course of three days, participants will explore leadership on three levels; personal, professional, and public.  Students will be challenged to define their own sense of leadership, creating goals that will align their desired image as a leader and their future choices.  

Junior LO will take place on June 23-25 at the The Auburn Hills University Center.  The deadline for applications is, May 7, 2014.  Students can find the application and learn more about the program by visiting www.leadershipoakland.com and clicking on the “Junior LO Program” tab.  This year’s Junior LO sponsors are Oakland Schools, The Robot Garage, and Oakland Community College.


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