In 2016, Dori Wittrig co-founded a program in Fountain Hills with the goal of finding a new generation of potential community leaders. She and John Craft assembled a team of people who worked hard and fast to pull together the first class of the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy in September that year. The success of the new program immediately sent ripples throughout the community.
The Leadership Academy consists of an 8-week intense immersion into the Town’s governmental processes, civic and community services and organizations, public safety, environmental management, local schools, and so much more. Participants meet community leaders who shared ideas about the future of Fountain Hills and current challenges being faced.
At graduation, participants presented a project to Town leaders based on offering a solution to a challenge in the community or proposing a new idea to add value to the community. Past projects have included wrong-way drivers on Palisades Boulevard, creating a downtown arts district, effective public transportation services for employees who don’t live in town, a salt reduction program for residents who use water softeners, a grant assistance program for Town staff, and more.
Graduates have gone forward as better-informed citizens and have stepped into leadership roles throughout the community. They sit on dozens of boards of local non-profit organizations, serve the Town as commissioners, started PACs for local elections, and serve on Town Council and the Sanitary District board.
The Fountain Hills Leadership Academy is now accepting applications for Class 5 which will kick off on September 9, 2020. Applications will be accepted into June. Class size is limited. CLICK HERE for more information or to fill out an application.