Meet the 2021 Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class

Alexandria, VA – The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class is back in person and better than ever for 2021. A dynamic, nine-month civic-based leadership development program, the Leadership Class is designed to hone personal leadership development within members of the local community.

Each year, the Chamber appoints 25 people to come together for one Friday each month for nine months to undergo leadership training, meet with State and City Leaders, and learn about leadership in the community.

Antonio Landivar
Brian Stout
Chandell Miller
Edwin Goutier
Florence King
Giselle Pelaez
Herman Phillips
Jeff Brower
Jim Hogan
Josh Turner
Julien Decosimo II
K Nacion
Laura Itle
Lauren Fisher
Lauren Riley
Margaret Townsend
Senior Executive Group
Michelle Howard
Meg Tinklepaugh
Regis DeVeaux
Stella Hanly
Sumita Allen
Taryn Anthony
Willow Darsie
Yasmeen Neal

Last year, for all nine months, the Class met virtually. “It was a challenge,” describes Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Joe Haggerty. “Part of that experience is when the 25 people come together each month, they start to become friends.”

This year, the Chamber has seen those friendships blossom at three of the nine meetings so far. “It has really gone well this year,” says Haggerty. “The purpose of this is so they will know more about their community and they will become better leaders, know their strengths and weaknesses. As a group, we want them to meet people from other organizations so they can see and learn from friends and colleagues.”

In September, the leaders gathered at George Washington’s Mount Vernon for interactive decision-making modules at the opening retreat.

October covered legislation and enrichment, where the leaders met with City and State officials to learn how a piece of legislation gets drafted and goes from committee to general assembly to approval.

In November, the class heard from Stephanie Landrum, President and CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP), about significant economic developments within the region, such as the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and the new Alexandria Hospital.

The Chamber will also host two joint meetings this year with other leadership classes from Arlington and Fairfax County, discussing diversity, inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

Haggerty concludes, “We wanted to be back [in person] because we thought it was important. It is a neat thing to meet other people in the community who want to be leaders.” For more information on the Leadership Center for Excellence and how you can apply, visit

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