About HCLA

HCLA brings together Government Officials, Business Owners, Not-for-Profit Leaders, Volunteers and Residents...

The Hamilton County Leadership Academy is a leadership development program that identifies and prepares informed leaders for our community. Program participants are brought together by their commitment of time, energy, expertise and their desire to be involved in Hamilton County.

There are over 630 graduates of the program that can be found throughout our community holding elected office, serving in appointed positions, and serving on local Boards.  They are our local leaders who are working to create and sustain a thriving community for all of us to live, work and play!

The Hamilton County Leadership Academy’s mission is to educate and inspire leadership to create a positive impact in our community.



The Hamilton County Leadership Academy was created in 1991 to establish a pool of knowledgeable community leaders to apply their skills to government, business and civic activities and positively shape the future of Hamilton County.

HCLA got its start within the Noblesville Chamber. In 1989, Ruth Anne Nunamaker was hired as the new Executive Director of the Noblesville Chamber and she started visiting with local community leaders in order to define the goals and mission of the Chamber. One of those leaders was Doug Church who suggested the idea of a leadership program.

Ruth Anne presented the idea of a leadership academy to both the Noblesville Chamber and the Carmel-Clay Chamber. These two organizations then worked together to develop what is now known as the Hamilton County Leadership Academy.


HCLA offers a 10-month program that develops, educates and motivates future leaders to create positive change in our government, businesses and community.

Through our comprehensive curriculum and study of local issues, we prepare our graduates to assume active roles in promoting awareness of critical issues facing Hamilton County.

Our graduates are knowledgeable, active leaders within the various community service organizations in Hamilton County, serving civic groups, not-for-profits, government agencies and elected office.