Frequently Asked Questions
What is the American Leadership Forum?
ALF is a national organization with local chapter affiliates. In an
effort to reweave what John Gardner calls the "unraveling social
fabric," Joe Jaworksi founded ALF in 1980 in Houston (www.alfnational.org). Its
mission is "joining and strengthening leaders to better serve the
There are now nine active chapters: Houston, TX, Hartford, CN, the State of Oregon, Silicon Valley, CA, Mountain Valley, CA, Tacoma/Piece County, WA, Charlotte, NC, Southern California, and the Rocky Mountain Chapter based in Colorado.
What is the Mountain Valley Chapter?
The Mountain Valley Chapter, serving the California counties of
Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and Northern Solano, was founded in
1997 by four Senior Fellows who had moved to Sacramento from other
chapters and wanted to start a program here.
The mission of the Mountain Valley Chapter is to build a growing network of leaders throughout the region; to expand their leadership skills, trust and relationships; and to make a difference by working together.
What is ALF-MV's Program?
Each year, each active chapter invites a class of 22-26 proven leaders
from diverse backgrounds -- professional, ethnic and cultural,
and geographic -- to participate in a yearlong 20-day program of
seminars designed to build trust and relationships and to strengthen
collaborative leadership skills.
One unique aspect of the ALF program is a six-day Wilderness Experience in which Fellows take on physical and mental challenges, including a mountain peak climb, to jump-start the team building.
Each class chooses how to provide service back to the regional community to practice the collaborative leadership skills they have been learning.
How are Fellows selected?
Participation in ALF's Fellows Program is by invitation only.
Members are selected for their recognized leadership position in the
community, as well as their potential to provide collaborative
leadership and regional stewardship in the future. The selection
process is also designed to create a diverse group within each class of
Fellows, bringing together individuals from different sectors, ethnic
backgrounds, religious traditions, political affiliations, genders,
geographies, and more. The goal is to represent as much
as possible the diversity of the region.
Nominations for future Fellows come from ALF Senior Fellows and Board Members. Nominations are reviewed by the ALF Fellows Nominating Committee and invitations are approved and extended by the Board of Directors.
What is the cost of the program?
The expense of providing the program is $12,500 per Fellow. Most Fellows are supported, at least in part, by the corporation or organization for which they work. While ALF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, scholarship help is available to ensure that financial concerns do not prevent a potential Fellow from accepting the invitation.
Who are Senior Fellows?
After graduation, each class joins the ranks of Senior Fellows who gather regularly for issue forums, social events, and community service. This growing network of Senior Fellows carries out the mission of working collaboratively for the public good.
Does ALF take position on community or political issues?
Because ALF primarily serves to bring together diverse leaders to better serve the community, the organization typically does not hold positions on community or political issues. ALF, as an organization, would require a resolution by the Board of Directors in order to take a position on any issue. ALF Fellows and Senior Fellows, on the other hand, frequently advocate for positions on community issues, and ALF encourages such activity. The views of ALF Fellows and Senior Fellows, however, should not be construed as those of the organization, its staff, or its Board of Directors.
What is the Exemplary Leader Award Dinner?
ALF-MV's Annual Dinner, held in the early to mid-Spring, celebrates the achievements and commitment to serve the regional community by one or two individuals. The dinner attracts nearly the entire membership to attend in a lively, celebratory evening with no speeches or lengthy program. This annual fundraising event includes a live and silent auction.
Where does ALF-MV get its financial support?
Approximately 50% of ALF-MV's support is from tuition. The balance of the budget comes from support from the board, Senior Fellows, local corporations, foundation grants and the annual Exemplary Leader Award Dinner.