Leadership Development

Chamber Champions

Chamber Champions Youth Leadership program is an initiative targeting second semester sophomores. Participants are chosen based on a list of criteria set forth by the Workforce Development division. The youth initiative keeps a similar focus as the chamber, which is private sector support, growth, and jobs. In preparing students for the private sector, the initiative provides educational and hands-on experience to expose students to these realms. Area business men and women are involved and help host and/or teach the modules which include Self-Presentation &  Customer Service Training, Time & Stress Management and Robert’s Rules of Order, Personal and Business Finance, How to Start a Business, Marketing a Business and a Product , and Higher Education Exposure.

  • Targeted to 20 students from both public and private schools
  • The program will meet once a month from 9am – 2pm
  • Students begin in the second semester of their sophomore year
  • Program wraps up in the first semester of their junior year
  • Summer months used to earn community hours required for graduation

For complete Program information, CLICK HERE


INSPIRE Sumter Leadership Institute is a collaboration between the Chamber and  Sumter Archway Partnership, providing curriculum-based leadership skills training utilizing materials from the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.


INSPIRE Sumter is a community-based leadership development program. It is focused on equipping citizens with skills to enable them to be future leaders in our community through their churches, homes, jobs, civic organizations, appointed board positions and possibly elected capacity. A curriculum from the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development is used by local, trained professionals to educate others.


INSPIRE Sumter is targeted to a wide array of individuals in our community. The overall goal is to educate citizens who plan to remain in our community. Therefore, no restrictions will be placed on age, gender, or educational attainment. Recruitment and selection will be geared toward ensuring a diverse group of citizens participate.  INSPIRE Sumter begins annually each January.


INSPIRE Sumter works with local community partners for meeting locations. These include South Georgia Technical College, Georgia Southwestern State University, and Phoebe Sumter Medical Center. The participants will meet on a weekly basis, with each of the four months being hosted at various locations in the community to expose participants.


A team of local individuals initially gathered through the Sumter Archway Partnership and now referred to as the INSPIRE Sumter Board will provide oversight and support staff to the effort. This team will serve in a board capacity, with plans to rotate board membership to ensure diversity and accurate community representation.


The J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, University of Georgia: The Institute has created a curriculum of modules designed to develop knowledgeable, skilled, committed and action-oriented community leaders. The Institute provides varying opportunities for participation, which include Train-the-Trainer, the option selected by INSPIRE Sumter. Twenty-four community members participated in the training, and will now serve as the facilitators for future sessions. Along with the facilitators, local leaders who address these topics on a daily basis will supplement each module. The module topics include: Understanding Community Leadership, Effective Communication, Valuing Community Diversity, Group Dynamics, Conducting Successful Meetings, Group Problem Solving and Decision Making, Managing Conflict, and Building Communities through Partnerships and Collaboration.

For the Curriculum-Based Leadership Training Flyer, CLICK HERE

For the INSPIRE Sumter Application, CLICK HERE