The Fellows' program is the first year of a multi-year commitment to American Leadership Forum and the community. During the Fellows' year approximately 25-27 leaders (Fellows) are selected to participate in monthly seminars and a six-day wilderness experience. The program focuses on collaborative problem solving, conflict management, community building, ethics and social issues in the Sacramento region.
The heart of the ALF yearlong Fellows program is the Wilderness Experience. For the Mountain Valley chapter, this is a six-day adventure in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The participants experience group problem solving and physical challenges such as rock climbing, rappelling and hiking to the summit. The experiential learning about collaboration and exceeding personal limits provides a powerful foundation of trust and respect for working together in community through future.
Each class develops a class project for the community. This project focuses on an important public issue chosen by the Fellows' group. The project often continues beyond the initial program year.
Every class reflects the ALF diversity goal of private sector leaders (corporate, small business, professional and media) and public and nonprofit sector leaders (county and city officials, education, social services, arts, religion and community) and a labor leader. They represent the spectrum of ethnic groups in the region and are from the five counties in the area: Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Yolo and Northern Solano.
No one understands the challenges top-level executives face like fellow ALFers. So, we designed the Ballast Series specifically for senior leadership to stay on top of their game. The word “ballast” means the main centering point of a ship; it provides stability and control. The Ballast Series is your centering point. When you are centered with yourself and your organization, you’re able to steer the ship and carry out your leadership through others.
The Ballast Series is the only executive program that connects Sr. Fellows exclusively with ALF’s network through curriculum that addresses the unique experience of the executive leader: steering organizational change, shaping company culture, driving continuous improvement, and more – all in the "ALF way."
The graduate program facilitates for Fellows the commitment to community building. Graduates of the program, called Senior Fellows, are using the skills and connections from their ALF experience to impact both their community and work. Senior Fellows events expand the opportunities to ALF classes to connect and work together on community issues.
ALF provides programs for these leaders to meet on a regular basis in forums with noted speakers, at issues forums, at an annual Senior Fellows retreat, and at the Exemplary Leader Award Dinner. ALF also looks for opportunities for Senior Fellows to work together on community projects, some of them already established and some proposed by individuals or groups.
The object of these opportunities is for Senior Fellows to meet across classes and to build trust and understanding between individuals who otherwise would not become acquainted. The resulting ever-expanding network is a vital resource for the community served by ALF-Mountain Valley and for the Senior Fellows themselves.
Through its COHORT Program, the American Leadership Forum brings together Sr. Fellows to learn new processes of collaborative leadership with a regional approach. The program provides a unique opportunity for new deepened connections by bringing Sr. Fellows together across classes. The COHORT Program creates a forum for ALF Senior Fellows to meaningfully connect with other Fellows beyond their individual classes to explore pertinent leadership concepts, dialogue, and the application of new learning in the class setting and discussion of leadership challenges in service to oneself, organization and community.
Each year, a leader who exemplifies ALF's values of building community is honored. The dinner is always well attended by Senior Fellows, the current class, the new class and guests. Other guests include corporate and community affiliates and community leaders. The Exemplary Leader Award Dinner remains the premier fundraising event of the ALF-MVC year.
ALF-MV Exemplary Leaders (with titles at time of award):