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

Our History

HCLA was established in 1991 to develop 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 of Commerce. In 1989, Ruth Anne Nunamaker was hired as the 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 prominent attorney 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 of Commerce. These two organizations then worked together to develop what is now known as the Hamilton County Leadership Academy.


HCLA selects a cohort of leaders each year to complete a comprehensive, 10-month curriculum exploring local issues.After completing the program, graduates are prepared to assume active roles in addressing critical issues facing Hamilton County.

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