What is Leadership Portage County?

Leadership Portage County (LPC) challenges participants to broaden their understanding of Portage County and develop their leadership skills through network development, education, and community engagement.

The 10-month curriculum is an intensive leadership development program designed to give all leaders the skills, knowledge, and on-going support they need to succeed. LPC is not only for new or young professionals, but instead for leaders of all ages and titles. Participants in LPC will grow professionally and personally from the variety of leadership, team-building, communication and self-awareness exercises that are part of the curriculum.

Session Schedule

Leadership Portage County sessions are typically held Thursdays each month (*exceptions are noted below). Sessions are for the full day, beginning at 7:45 AM and concluding at 4:30 PM. Attendance and participation are expected at each session. Please review and save these dates before applying.

Class of 2023-2024 Sessions:

  • *Thursday, August 24 AND Friday, August 25: Opening Retreat (this is the only two day session, it is 7:45-4:30 PM each day, not overnight) – sponsored by TDS
  • Thursday, September 28, 2023 – sponsored by WPVGA
  • Thursday, October 19, 2023
  • Thursday, November 16, 2023 – sponsored by UW-Stevens Point MBA Program
  • Thursday, December 14, 2023 – sponsored by Delta Dental
  • Thursday, January 11, 2024
  • Thursday, February 15, 2024 – sponsored by Mission Coffee House
  • *Thursday, March 14 (moved due to Spring Breaks) – sponsored by Lineage Logistics
  • Thursday, April 11, 2024 – sponsored by Midwest Renewable Energy Association
  • Thursday, May 23, 2024
  • 5:00-7:00 PM on May 30: Graduation Program – sponsored by Community First Bank

For more details and to apply for the class of 2023-2024 (beginning in August), CLICK HERE!

Thank you to our Program Sponsor:

Thank you to our Session Sponsors:



Program Components & Goals

Each full-day LPC session combines leadership skill development and character building with exploration of community programs and challenges. Sessions are held in varying locations providing a diverse, inside look at Portage County. As an LPC graduate you will have had opportunities to:

  • Enhance, develop and practice leadership skills;
  • Expand business and community networks;
  • Identify and explore community challenges;
  • Learn about involvement opportunities in the community;
  •  And promote an appreciation of Portage County’s resources, institutions, cultures and concerns.

Program outcomes are achieved through –

  • Leadership Skill Building: LPC participants identify and practice their leadership skills in a safe environment through interactive sessions. Participants learn about personal leadership styles, active listening, conflict management, public speaking, consensus building, and other skills valuable in any workplace.
  • Community Tours & Speakers: Get behind the scenes tours of businesses, hear from experts, and learn what makes our quality of life exceptional. Experiences include agri-business/farm tour, courthouse and jail tour (and lunch!), and a photo scavenger hunt throughout Portage County!
  • Network Development: Not only are participants given ample opportunity to network with their classmates, but being in LPC connects you to an alumni network of 500 past participants. You will also connect with civic leaders, CEOs and other business and community innovators.
  • Session Themes: Each of the monthly sessions is packed with information related to a community theme. Themes include; history of Portage County, Agribusiness, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Not For Profit, Health & Wellness, Economic Development, and others.

Program Commitment

Participants spend approximately 150 hours on LPC related activities during this program. Attendance is expected at each of the monthly sessions. Outside of the sessions, participants are asked to participate in interim assignments, tours and community building experiences, and a group project. Options are offered to provide flexibility and choice so that participants can select the option that best fits their schedule.

  • Absences: Failure to attend at least nine (9) sessions will result in dismissal from the program without refund of tuition. Supervisors will be notified of participant attendance.
  • Session Make-up Activity: In the event of a class absence, participants will be required to meet with a fellow LPC participant to determine what was missed from the session day and follow up with at least one of the agenda presenters to gain one-to-one support based on the missed session.

The Best Program for Portage County’s Leaders of Today and Tomorrow

Immerse yourself in all aspects of Portage County life, business, and history. Each class day is carefully crafted to create hands-on opportunities, connect you with experts, and take you behind the scenes.

Opening Retreat ∙ Day 1

Participants engage in icebreaker and team building activities as they get to know one another. Participants also go on a history tour of Portage County, giving them an opportunity to see how Portage County has evolved over time.


Portage County has a strong agricultural focus. This session includes a tour of potato farm, learning about dairy operations, and how agriculture relates to tourism.

Human & Public Services

Learn about services in Portage County to help those less-fortunate. Participants hear from United Way and other non-profits about their work, learn about diversity, and spend the afternoon role-playing as a low-income family in the poverty simulation

Education & Workforce Development

Learn about how area schools and educators are preparing Portage County’s future workforce. Hear about the differences in school systems (private vs. public) and learn about the issues that matter in education.

Utilities & Environment

A unique opportunity to review two perspectives on energy – that of the public utility and that of the renewable/solar organization. Learn about each and make your own decisions. This session also covers Portage Co. groundwater and Parks and Recreation.

Closing Retreat

Time to tie it all together. 10 months of leadership development and community awareness comes down to this last session. Experience group team builders to establish lasting connections, and find satisfaction in making it to the top of the climbing wall.

Opening Retreat ∙ Day 2

The learning continues a second day! LPCers take part in an alumni favorite – the Road Rally, photo scavenger hunt across Portage County.                                                                                                                                                                                      .                   .

Government & Community

This session provides an opportunity to chat with local and state elected officials, learn about their work, and gain insights to the electoral process.

Legal System

Get a behind-the-scenes tour of Portage County’s justice system. This session includes a tour of the jail with lunch (same thing the inmates eat!), explanation of the circuit court system and justice programs in Portage County.

Economic Development & Infrastructure

Sewer, water, roads, waste, etc. all factor in to the infrastructure of a community. Learn about how Portage County handles these challenges and plans for future economic development.                                                                                                            .

Health & Wellness

As leaders it is important to practice self-care. Examine the dimensions of wellness, learn about stress-reduction tactics, and try out a new routine through Tai Chi or an exercise demo.                                                                                                           .


Celebrate! Reflect on the whole LPC experience and join the ranks of 500 LPC alumni across the county and the nation! Congratulations leader!