Gilbert Leadership Celebrates Graduation of Class XXVI, Now Accepting Applications

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Gilbert Leadership celebrated the graduation of Class XXVI on Friday, June 8th at a formal ceremony recognizing 24 students in this year’s class, all of whom have contributed to the community through leadership.

Gilbert Leadership, a program of the Gilbert Chamber Foundation, serves to raise up local leadership by promoting and inspiring action on issues that impact the Town of Gilbert. The program influences the community by building leadership capacity, increasing knowledge and awareness of community concerns, and nurturing future leaders. Over the past nine months, class participants have worked together to discover the infrastructure of Gilbert, including an inside look at our town’s history, fine arts, local government, education, social services, healthcare, and more.

“Gilbert Leadership was a great experience,” said program graduate Traci Frederickson, of Fountain of Life Christian Fellowship. “Learning what it takes to make our town so great and meeting amazing people who are invested in a lifestyle of personal growth and giving back to their community was priceless. Gilbert Leadership gave me insight and tools to which I would have never experienced.”

Gilbert Leadership brings together individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to develop their leadership potential. Participants experience personal growth and gain a unique perspective as they take an inside look at the workings of their community.

The following individuals were recognized as graduates of Gilbert Leadership Class XXVI:


David Baldwin, Via Circuits Inc.

Blake Bentley, Ready Logistics

Irma Bressler, CertaPro Painters

Mike Burkhart, Gilbert Fire Department

Judy Cato, Arizona State University/Victory AME Church

Kristen Drew, Town of Gilbert

Kellen Escoto, HD South/Gilbert Historical Museum

Traci Frederickson, Fountain of Life

Robert Gardner, Banner Health

Erik Gray, Leading Edge Academy

Vicki Kettner, Town of Gilbert

Randy Mahlerwein, Higley Unified School District

Caryn Mannheimer, Orbital ATK

Justin Martz, Wells Fargo

Bryanna McHenry, Salt River Project

Brendan O’Connor, Salt River Project

Cris Parisot, Town of Gilbert

Shannon Powell, TotSpot Preschool

Jonathan V Reece, Geneva Financial LLC

Brian Sexton, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority

Vincent Thomas, Mercy Gilbert Medical Center

Mike Thomason, Higley Unified School District

James Walker, Higley Unified School District

Nicole Washington, Mercy Gilbert Medical Center


Class members attended full-day sessions (Learning Days) once each month for nine months; complete a series of local tours; and work together to select, organize, and execute a class service project. Class XXVI constructed two Exchange Zones – one at each Police Station in Gilbert – to create areas for residents to exchange goods purchased on-line and for parents to conduct child custody exchanges in a well-lit environment and under the watchful eye of digital surveillance.

Gilbert Leadership is currently accepting applications to participate in the program’s 27th class and will begin interviewing applicants in July. Gilbert-area residents and/or employees are eligible to apply. Interested candidates should submit a completed application by July 6th. Program applications can be found online at


About Gilbert Leadership

Gilbert Leadership is a ten-month program of the Gilbert Chamber Foundation. Candidates are required to live or work in Gilbert, possess a commitment to community involvement and personal growth, and a desire to improve the Gilbert community. More than 530 alumni have discovered leadership opportunities and fostered lasting relationships through this program. Learn more at

Submitted by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce

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