Ventura County Leadership Academy (VCLA)


Members of VCLA Cohort XXI

20th Anniversary Logo

Connecting people and issues to strengthen our county

The Ventura County Leadership Academy connects and cultivates a diverse network of passionate, capable leaders through an immersion in both critical issues shaping Ventura County and opportunities for personal and professional growth. VCLA’s comprehensive program ignites awareness and inspiration, helping cohort members discover their individual pathway toward impacting our region.

History of the VCLA

The Ventura County Leadership Academy was founded in 1994 and has the purpose of developing a diverse group of leaders whose actions enhance the quality of life throughout Ventura County. Through a curriculum that exposes participants to critical issues in our region, the experience provides opportunities to enrich one’s leadership capabilities that will ultimately enhance his/her participation in the community.

The curriculum includes focus sessions on regional issues related to education, public safety, economic development, health care, agriculture, the environment, transportation, as well as state and local government. The sessions are interactive with open dialogue between presenters and participants and include site visits, group projects, and research to further the understanding of the issues. In addition to the session topic curriculum, participants also undergo a leadership development curriculum that is integrated into each session.
The participants are involved in 10, full-day sessions where subject-matter experts and top-level administrators offer presentations on specific topics. They also travel to Sacramento for a three-day overview of state government, meetings and interaction with legislators, members of the Governor’s Staff and other legislative leaders at the State Capitol and various other sites.

VCLA has had 21 successful cohorts to date. Each leadership program starts in September with about 30-40 motivated participants from various communities throughout the county. With backgrounds in business, economic and employment development, education, finance, local law enforcement, nonprofit organizations and social service, and science and technology, these participants represent the diversity that is Ventura County.

VCLA Fillable Application 2016-17
VCLA Brochure Cohort XXII (2016-17)


In the News

VCLA’s Journey to Leadership Awards Luncheon – Thursday, April 7, 2016 More Info

VCLA's Journey to Leadership Awards Luncheon

Sponsorship Opportunities
United Way program has been creating Ventura County leaders for 20 years (5/16/05)

Pattie Braga – Chair
Mike Paule – Vice Chair
Melissa Baffa – Secretary
Sharon Cromartie -Treasurer

Cynthia Alexander
Patty Brown
George Corbin
Olga Diaz
Terrance Dixon
Rick Eberst
Susan Englund – United Way Liaison
Genevieve Evans Taylor
Tracy Hudak
Ashley Humes
James Joyce III
James Mason
Dr. Priscilla Partridge de Garcia
Dr. Andrew Pattison
Jennie Pittman
Sara Rivera
David Seagraves
Jill Shaffer – VCLA Executive Director