Join us for a year of learning, connection, and community with the Leadership Learning Lab

We are now accepting applications for our 2022 Leadership Learning Lab (LLL)! The LLL is a year-long program that combines adaptive and collaborative leadership, time management, and a suite of nonprofit and cross-sector capacity-building skills.  It invests directly in leaders as a way to strengthen their organizations and the communities they serve. 

The LLL is designed to help you:

  • Become a more self-aware, adaptive, and resilient leader

  • Reduce your overwhelm and focus on what is most important

  • Develop improved communication and collaborative skills

  • Increase your awareness of power, identity, and equity 

  • Gain a suite of practical tools and resources for nonprofit and cross-sector leaders

  • Develop a network of support within the LLL community

The LLL combines monthly learning sessions, small group learning pods, individual reflection, a community Facebook group, and ongoing support. You will have the opportunity to deepen relationships with leaders in your community and connect with those across northern lower Michigan. We welcome leaders at all levels from nonprofit organizations, businesses, government agencies, and Tribal Nations. 

Learning session topics will include:

  • Understanding your Leadership Style

  • Adaptive Leadership

  • Time Management

  • Board Development

  • Fund Development

  • Mission-Driven Storytelling

  • Collaborative Structures & Mindsets

  • Cross-Sector Collaboration

  • Facilitating Inclusive Meetings

  • Goal-Setting

... and more!                  

You will have the opportunity to tailor your own learning experience depending on your role as a nonprofit or cross-sector leader.

Leadership Learning Lab is a collaboration between Rotary Charities of Traverse City, the Frey Foundation, and 10 northern lower Michigan Community Foundations.

Cohorts, or "Sites" are created based on the service area of each Community Foundation.

Our Program Design Team works with your local Community Foundation liaisons to tailor each session to the needs of their region. LLL is currently available in 5 sites across northern lower Michigan.

Program Details and Frequently Asked Questions

Commitment and Expectations of Participation

  • Commitment to attend:
    • January Orientation & Kickoff Session
    • 8 Learning Sessions from February through November 2022
    • December Community Celebration & Planning Summit
  • Devote 3-6 hours per month for prep work, homework, and monthly small group learning pod meetings
  • Complete a pre-program survey, learning session evaluations, and post-program survey
  • End-to-end participation in video-on Zoom meetings with a willingness to fully participate in group discussions with a curious mind and open heart 
  • Respect fellow LLL participants and commit to confidentiality 



Curious about LLL, but still have questions?

Reach out to Colleen Masterson-Bzdok with general questions about the program. 

You may also choose to reach out to your Community Foundation Liason:

Site Community Foundation Partner Liason Counties Served
1 Community Foundation for Oceana County Tammy Carey Oceana
1 Manistee County Community Foundation Laura Heintzelman Manistee
2 Charlevoix County Community Foundation Mishelle Shooks Charlevoix
2 Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation Kassia Perpich Emmet
3 Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan Patrick Heraghty Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, and Presque Isle
3 Otsego Community Foundation Karin Beyer Otsego
3 Roscommon County Community Foundation Suzanne Luck Roscommon
4 Cadillac Area Community Foundation Doreen Lanc Wexford
4 Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation Jaimie Capen-Cascaddan Isabella
5 Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation Alison Metiva Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau




The LLL is supported by the Frey Foundation, Rotary Charities, and a network of 10 northern lower Michigan Community Foundations to help keep tuition low for leaders like you. The cost to participate in this program is $300.

Because of Rotary Charities' underwriting of this program, the Leadership Learning Lab is not eligible for support through the Learning Fund


Leadership is a practice, and you can lead from any position in the workplace or in society. If you're ready to develop your leadership, support your peers and work toward community change, we want to work with you. Leaders at all levels from nonprofit, business, government and Tribal Nations are invited to apply.

To be eligible, participants must work or serve in one or more of the counties below.

Site Counties Served
1 Manistee and Oceana County
2 Charlevoix and Emmet County

Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, Otsego, Presque Isle, and Roscommon County

4 Isabella and Wexford County
5 Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau County

Format & Schedule


The LLL will be offered as virtual learning in most months, with 3 months of in-person sessions at each site (February, June, and November). Dependent on current public health guidance, in-person sessions may be transitioned to virtual learning as necessary. 

View Schedule

LLL learning sessions are not webinars or seminars, but interactive learning experiences, where participants are expected to fully engage in discussions and activities. Sessions will include a combination of self-reflection, small group activities, and large group discussions that make room for all voices. We design our learning experiences with all learning styles and accessibility needs in mind. 


Participants will have the opportunity to develop relationships not only with cohort members from their own sites, but also with the broader LLL community

How to Apply

Each Site has its own application form. To apply, scroll down on this webpage, find your Site based on your county, and click "Apply".

Applications open November 1, 2021 are due by December 1, 2021. Applications are considered by the Community Foundation partners, and decisions are made by the second week of December. 

Site 1: Manistee and Oceana Counties ​​​​​​​Apply
Site 2: Charleviox and Emmet Counties Apply
Site 3: Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon Counties Apply
Site 4: Isabella and Wexford Counties Apply
Site 5: Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse Kalkaska, Leelanau Counties Apply

Ongoing Support

Throughout the program, you will have opportunities to connect with the program facilitators, leaders in your own community and those across all 5 sites via the LLL Facebook group, learning pods, and support calls.

Upon completion of the LLL program, alumni are eligible to participate in Peer Learning Circles, Deep Dives, and other learning and connection opportunities. 

Other Leadership Training Programs

The LLL is a great complement to other leadership programs in the region, such as the Leadership Coaching Program and Leadership Grand Traverse. Each has its unique approach and content, and the three may be pursued in any order to deepen leadership-related knowledge, skills, and mindsets.

Rotary Charities' Leadership Coaching Program provides confidential, one-on-one coaching sessions with a certified coach that helps you identify your unique strengths and areas for growth.

Leadership Grand Traverse is a community-based program offered by Traverse Connect that prepares participants for decision-making leadership roles in areas such as policy, program implementation, and development.

Recognition of Completion

Upon completion of the Leadership Learning Lab program, you will receive a Certificate of Completion, provided that you have attended at least 7 of the learning sessions.

“What I found most valuable was that the tools and concepts covered were applicable to anyone in any circumstance; holding a role in a large traditional hierarchical organization, a mid-size holacratic organization, a head of household, or just someone who has a growth mindset. I made genuine, authentic connections with participants across my region and feel more knowledgeable and better prepared to collaborate and leverage community resources. Thank you Leadership Learning Lab!"

                                                                                                             - Nicole Heffelfinger

Apply for Leadership Learning Lab.

Apply by County: Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, IsabellaKalkaskaLeelanau, ManisteeMontmorency, Oceana, Otsego, Presque IsleRoscommon, Wexford 

Site 1: Manistee & Oceana County
Manistee County Community Foundation Liaison: Laura Heintzelman
Community Foundation for Oceana County Liaison: Tammy Carey

Site 2: Charlevoix & Emmet County
Charlevoix County Community Foundation Liaison: Mishelle Shooks
Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation Liaison: Kassia Perpich

Site 3: Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon County

Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan Liaison: Patrick Haraghty (Counties served:  Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, and Presque Isle)

Otsego Community Foundation Liaison: Karin Beyer
Roscommon County Community Foundation Liaison: Suzanne Luck


Site 4: Isabella & Wexford County
Cadillac Area Community Foundation Liaison:  Doreen Lanc
Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation Liaison:  Jaimie Capen-Cascaddan

Site 5:  Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau County

Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation Liaison: Alison Metiva

“The relationships established created an invaluable opportunity for us to continue to work together to make a positive, powerful impact in our communities on a larger scale than we could each do individually.”

- Amy Schindler, Frankfort-Elberta Area Schools Board of Education, Frankfort-Elberta Area Schools Educational Foundation, Crystal Downs Country Club, Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital Foundation