Contact Us Member Login

Leadership Yakima

The mission of the Yakima Chamber Foundation is to provide outreach resources and direct services to the Yakima area including education and leadership development. 

                               Leadership Yakima Retreat                               

Marla Meza - HLA Engineering and Land Surveying, Inc.

Kelly Hedrick - HLA Engineering and Land Surveying, Inc.

Brooke Eshleman - Tree Top, Inc.

Cece Ibarra - Banner Bank

Jedediah Watters - West Valley School District

Cassidy Leslie - Triumph Treatment

Elliot Ergeson - Hawley Troxell

Jacob Church - Yakima County Sherriff's Office

Stephanie Patterson - Yakima County Treasurer's Office

Dillon Ellsworth - Pace International

Alyssa Ford - Yakima Union Gospel Mission

Gary Layton - Brookside Funeral Home

Bethany Mills - Dept. of Army

Paul Noel - Dept. of Defense

Amber Wooten - Multicare Yakima Memorial

Jean Brown - Educational Service District 105


Offered by the Yakima Chamber Foundation, Leadership Yakima is a premier program that works to strengthen and educate community leaders by providing participants with in-depth insights into a variety of issues impacting residents of the Yakima Valley. Participants learn about our valley’s history, learn many reasons to be proud of our valley, build relationships with their classmates, and learn how our community gets things done. The program was designed to teach our current and emerging leaders the skills necessary to serve our diverse community and provides an opportunity to discover many different organizations and agencies that need volunteers and board members. 

Many of our graduates move into executive leadership, entrepreneurial, non-profit and elected positions throughout the community since graduating from Leadership Yakima.

You may apply for yourself or your employer can sponsor your attendance.  Leadership Yakima is a great way for employers to secure employee investment in our valley. 


Leadership Yakima DirectorKristi Foster

Leadership Yakima Executive Board

If selected, you will be responsible for payment of a non-refundable participation fee of $999 for members or $1249 for non-members.

Leadership Yakima was established through the Yakima Chamber Foundation in 1986.  754 participants have graduated from the Leadership Yakima program.

alt text


The Chamber's Leadership Yakima program is a model of community leadership development that has touched all aspects of our community.  Our Chamber, through a variety of activities, works tirelessly on behalf of our community.

Dr. Jack Irion, Superintendent, Yakima School District

"As a newcomer to the Yakima Valley, I found Leadership Yakima very informative. I enjoyed the insight the program provided on a variety of
topics and challenges affecting the area. I found the Valley's rich history very informative. Leadership Yakima exposed me to a diverse segment of our community. It helped prepare me for future leadership positions, and guided me towards several volunteer opportunities in the Valley."

Rick Dutkiewicz - Director of Emergency Services Yakima Training Center

I was born and raised in the Yakima Valley so I didn’t think there was anything else for me to learn when it came to the valley –which I have learned couldn’t be further from the truth. Leadership Yakima highlights the jewels in our community and allows individuals to become familiar with organizations that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to do.

Carmela Solorzano - Yakima Herald-Republic

“Leadership Yakima is a program that every business and community leader, present and future, should participate in and support.  Leadership Yakima introduced me to businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies which I was unfamiliar with.  To this day I remain friends with many of my classmates, and watched over the the years how they have gone on to do great things for our community.   What I took away from Leadership Yakima was how proud I am to live in Yakima County knowing the level of sophistication and success of the businesses and agencies we toured.  We are doing great things locally, and Leadership Yakima provides participants the opportunity to learn about our success stories.”

Doug Federspiel - Yakima County: Superior Court Judge - Leadership Yakima Class of 1992

My experience at Leadership Yakima was more than I ever anticipated, I was nervous and anxious on what to expect and meeting a whole new group of people.  But wow what a great experience! I have lived in Yakima my whole life and learned so much about Yakima that I never knew.  I think the session that touched me the most and was my favorite was the Human Services session, there is so much we have to offer for those in need in our area and there is such a large population who is in need that most aren't aware of.  I also enjoyed learning about Yakima's history and the "gems" that Yakima has to offer.  I would highly recommend this program to anyone, it's a great experience and I would do it all over again!

Kelly McQuerry - Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital

Leadership Yakima is an invaluable opportunity to learn more about many of the things that make our community such a great place to call home. Networking with other business professionals while touring behind the scenes of community icons & also becoming aware of our less obvious, but valuable resources, expands our appreciation for Yakima & all it offers. Leadership Yakima is well designed to create an experience that will forever effect the way it's graduates view our community, with pride!

Jamin J. Mohler - Brookside Funeral Home

As a business owner and outgoing immediate past president for the national SPSSCS, a non-profit organization. I really wanted to be more active in the Yakima community. Being a part of Leadership Yakima has allowed me to learn and be inspired by true leaders in the Yakima community! I was part of an amazing group of individuals in creating a community project "Kick the Cancer"! I feel grateful for the experience and journey with my 2016 class and look forward to representing as a leader and sharing what a great place Yakima is to live!

Elena Nelson - Cascade Esthetics & The Make-Up Boutique/Hoyt Plastic Surgery & Laser Center

Through Leadership Yakima, I’ve gotten to learn more about the amazing things going on in our community, and a chance to meet some of the extraordinary people making those things happen. I’ve enjoyed this experience and the relationships I’ve developed over the past year immensely. After completing the program, I feel like I can be a better member of the community using the skills and knowledge I’ve learned through the program.

Jill Cope - Perry Technical Insitute

I have been extremely fortunate to participate in the Leadership Yakima program over the past 9 months. My eyes have been opened to the incredible valley that we live in! Having the opportunity to meet Yakima business owners and volunteers and tour through numerous facilities in various industries gave me a deeper appreciation for the true gems that our valley is home to. I also have a greater understanding of the issues that Yakima faces, and what we are doing to combat them. Yakima is a great place to live, we have great people, and have a bright future. Leadership Yakima will most definitely be a springboard for me in becoming more involved in our great community.

Jake Wilcox - Shields Bag & Printing

I would say that Leadership Yakima has been a phenomenal experience.  I have worked and lived in Yakima for over 20 years, and through this experience, I have really been amazed at how much I have learned about Yakima through the process.  This class has opened my eyes to many, many aspects of Yakima that I was unfamiliar with.  We have a great city, with so many opportunities, and it was exciting to learn about them each month.  Leadership Yakima has made me really excited to get involved in different groups that I would not have known about , had it not been for this class.  My classmates are all awesome!  It has been really fun to get to know them, both professionally and personally. 

Angie Meloy, PT - Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center

I had a wonderful time and have made some great new friends. I believed I knew so much about Yakima and realized I didn’t know very much about what’s happening in the community. I have loved my time in Leadership this year and I’m glad to have had the experience.

Georgia Reitmire - Yakima Valley Libraries

Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce
10 North 9th Street • Yakima WA 98901
Phone (509) 248-2021