“I appreciated the opportunity to do HCLA because it allowed me to meet other community leaders from a vast array of backgrounds. From leaders of nonprofit organizations to entrepreneurs to medical professionals, my class had it all. As a lawyer myself, it was wonderful to be surrounded by so many talented people doing so many wonderful things in my community. I could not have asked for a better way to diversify and enhance my network.”-Jessica Williams Schnelker, Partner, Church Church Hittle + Antrim

“I learned so many things about our county, the infrastructure, the financial elements, the network of support, and the ever-present need in spite of the prosperous area we live in. More importantly, I connected with like-minded professionals that I now call friends. We are committed to building our county together.”


Chris Owens, Class of 2014
Communications Director – White River Christian Church



“There’s an apt description about the three stages of life: First we learn, then we earn, and then we return. Find the person that does all three at the same time and you have an exceptional person… that’s the kind of person who goes through the Hamilton County Leadership Academy.”


Alan Hinds, Class of 1992
Community Volunteer



“No matter how long you have lived in Hamilton County, the Hamilton County Leadership Academy will be an eye opening experience, not only to everything that goes on in our community and all that is available to you, but also to the way that many things work in local business, government, education, and the judicial system. Everyone’s horizons will be greatly expanded.”


D. Lee Buckingham II, Class of 2008
Prosecuting Attorney – 24th Judicial Circuit



“I will always cherish the friendships and relationships that I have garnered through the Hamilton County Leadership Academy. Additionally, the experiences and knowledge I gained by going through the program have proven to be very useful in my professional life. I so much appreciate the past experiences I have had with HCLA and I look forward to future ones!”


Bruce Hauk, Class of 2002
President – Illinois American Water



“Since graduating from the Hamilton County Leadership Academy in 2008, I have found HCLA to be a wonderful resource for networking opportunities. The graduates of HCLA are talented professionals who have a passion for their careers and community service. HCLA is a good place to find qualified and committed individuals to serve on a Board of Directors, especially for non-profit businesses like Meals on Wheels of Hamilton County.”


Marti Lindell, Class of 2008
Founder & CEO – Senior Connections



“Regardless of your level of awareness to what’s going on in Hamilton County, you will receive new and valuable information on key initiatives and leadership within Hamilton County. Following the completion of the program, you will be part of a huge network of HCLA graduates and leaders that will serve as a tremendous resource for many years.”


Sam Mishelow, Class of 2005
Chief Strategy Officer – Meyer Najem Corporation



“HCLA allowed me to establish some wonderful relationships within our community. Learning about the efficiency and operational challenges that our local government and organizations face creates opportunities for me to be a more engaged and compassionate community partner.”


Kimberly Nealon, Class of 2010
VP, Nursing Services – St. Vincent



“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.” – John Buchan


“To me, this quote defines what HCLA is all about. HCLA gives you the opportunity to find where your passion lies and introduces you to others that have the same drive to make a difference.  Back then, I never imagined that over 10 years later, I would still have contact with over half of my class through not only our business partnerships, but the philanthropic roles we serve in our communities.”


Cynthia White, Class of 1998



“This program has the unique ability to preserve past leadership, embrace present leadership, and welcome future leadership to Hamilton County.  Alumni of the HCLA are better prepared to lead Hamilton County into the future while still respecting our past….and do so with a whole network of new friends.”


Greg Wyant, Class of 2006
Fire Chief – Noblesville Fire Department