Leadership in Action

Leadership Fort Worth’s LeadingEdge program has historically supported emerging leaders with an opportunity to strengthen their leadership practices, create connections with community leaders and move beyond volunteerism to board service.

leadership in action

Leadership Fort Worth adheres to the principles of Community Trusteeship, leveraging local community leaders, organizers, activists, public servants, artists, corporate and higher education partners to deepen the connection emerging leaders have to the community of Fort Worth. Completion of LeadingEdge comes with a membership to Leadership Forum and access to a network of over 3,800 graduates.

During the program participants will:

  • Identify personal strengths and aim those strengths professionally and personally
  • Serve in a leadership capacity in organizations related to their career, academic institution, or other young professionals organizations
  • Interrogate how individual and collective identity shapes community leaders and decisions made that impact the broader community
  • Increase awareness of community leaders and city-wide decision makers
  • Complete training to become an effective non-profit board member
  • Develop or deepen stamina for holding tension when addressing community-based issues or topics

Why Strengths?

LeadingEdge utilizes CliftonStrengths to deepen each leader’s personal reflection, growth, and tools to harnessing their unique power as change agents.

Personal development and leadership models are ever changing, as is the workforce. Leadership Fort Worth aims to provide elevated tools for every participant’s access to learning and practicing their strengths.

Board Build Training

LeadingEdge centers a partnership with Board Build to ensure participants have a high-level understanding of how to be an effective Board Member.

Through their online training, Board Build offers a set of virtual training modules that are complete simultaneously to Edge program days. Participants are then matched with Boards once they have completed their Board Build training. To learn more about Board Build, please visit their website https://www.boardbuild.org/.


  • Identify personal strengths and aim those strengths professionally and personally
  • Increase awareness of community leaders and city-wide decision makers
  • Discover and practice how to build strong, enduring, and reciprocal collaborative relationships rooted in personal reflection
  • Complete training to becoming an effective non-profit board member
  • Interrogate how individual and collective identity shapes community leaders and decisions made that impact the broader community
  • Develop or deepen stamina for holding tension when addressing community-based issues or topics


  • Introduces leadership practices shared by successful community leaders
  • Identifies personal leadership strengths & development opportunities
  • Explores processes relevant to “how Fort Worth works” (collaboration, advocacy, board governance)
  • Provides multiple opportunities to make connections with community leaders
  • Provides training and placement opportunities for non-profit board service via BoardBuild


Tuition for LeadingEdge Class of 2024 is $2,500.00. Participating in Leadership Fort Worth requires a commitment of time and resources. For a dynamic program experience for all participants, Leadership Fort Worth ensures that leaders from every industry are represented. Through donor support, we extend partial tuition waivers to program participants who work for 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations or are part of a small business. You may request a partial tuition waiver in your application which is due each year on October 31.


The LeadingEdge program begins in January with an opening retreat and concludes in May with a closing retreat. Program days are on every third or fourth Thursday between 9:00am and 2:00pm. Attendance is required at the opening and closing retreats.

2024 Dates:

  • 1/25/2024
  • 1/26/2024
  • 2/29/2024
  • 3/14/2024
  • 3/28/2024
  • 4/25/2024
  • 5/16/2024
  • 6/6/2024

For more information, please contact:
Sara Fairley, MA
Program Director – LeadershipClass and LeadingEdge


Applications for LeadingEdge 2025 will open in Fall 2024

LeadingEdge Testimonials

  • "LeadingEdge offers young professionals two incredible opportunities; to build relationships with like-minded individuals and to learn how we can partner toward a better future for the city we all love. It is truly an irreplaceable experience!" - Carley Moore, Realtor - Coldwell Banker

  • "LeadingEdge delivered more than I expected. I had always been involved in local organizations, but I was never sure how to take on a leadership role. LeadingEdge gave me that opportunity, taught me the tools to be a successful leader and shared with me great insight about my community. Thanks to LeadingEdge, I’m confident that I’ll be a contributing leader in Fort Worth in the years to come." - Jacob Fain, Attorney - Wick, Phillips, Gould & Martin LLP

  • "Participating in LeadingEdge was one the most valuable professional experiences I have enjoyed since joining United Way. It deepened my love of Fort Worth, strengthened my leadership skills, exposed me to community leaders, and I made lifelong friends." - Cassie McQuitty, Vice President - United Way

  • "LeadingEdge is more than just a learning opportunity about different styles of leadership. The program affords you the chance to meet other young professionals from all over Tarrant County, learn more about Fort Worth’s history, but more importantly some of its deficiencies and potential ways to address those issues. The Board Shadow Program is also a great bridge for you to work your way into the civic arena." - Jake Richter, Financial Advisor - Edward Jones

  • "For those who have a desire to learn about and to serve the Fort Worth community, LeadingEdge is a must! Through interactive sessions with civic leaders, collaborative work groups and panel discussions, LeadingEdge provides a comprehensive approach to teaching one how to be a leader. Through LeadingEdge, I was able to meet a diverse group of professionals who I have worked collaboratively with on various projects to help improve our communities. Specifically, as a result of my participation in LeadingEdge, I was asked to serve on two local boards: the Fort Worth Commission for Women and Courage & Renewal of North Texas. I couldn’t have made these connections without my participation in the LeadingEdge program. Every day I put Leadership Fort Worth practices to use. Whether it’s through building relationships with colleagues I met in LeadingEdge or through utilizing the principles we learned in the program, Leadership Fort Worth has proven to be an invaluable experience." - Casey Dyer, Director of Alumni Relations & External Affairs - Texas Wesleyan University School of Law

  • "The LeadingEdge program provided an opportunity to network with my peer leaders while learning more about Cowtown’s past, present and future. As an alumni, I continue to be exposed to these unique opportunities and would highly recommend the program to anyone looking to get involved." - Beth Zemkoski, Global IT Training Analyst - Alcon Laboratories, Inc.

  • "Joining Leadership Fort Worth has motivated me to stay in this area and spend my money in this area. There is so much growth and possibility here. I would not have known that had it not been for Leadership Fort Worth." - LeadingEdge 2022 Participant

  • "I just can't get over how amazing today was for me. Like the program the past few months has been dynamic and educational; I'm getting so much value out the lessons and literally look forward to our LeadingEdge days." - LeadingEdge 2022 Participant