American Leadership Forum

Great Valley Chapter

Joining and Strengthening Diverse Leaders to Serve the Common Good

The American Leadership Forum (ALF) is a non-profit organization, national in scope, dedicated to joining and strengthening established leaders in order to serve the public good. It enhances leadership by building on the strengths of diversity and by promoting collaborative problem-solving within and among communities. The Great Valley Chapter of the American Leadership Forum joins 14 chapters across the country, and serves the 3-county region of Merced, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin in the Northern San Joaquin Valley of Central California.

The ALF – Great Valley Chapter Program

Annually, 20 to 24 established leaders drawn from every sector throughout this region are invited to participate in a yearlong intensive leadership development program. Recruitment for Class VI is underway, with the new class beginning in June 2015.

The program consists of monthly seminars and intensive dialogue on:

  • collaborative leadership
  • consensus
  • conflict management
  • understanding differences
  • ethics training
  • leadership systems

ALF Fellows also participate in a week long Wilderness Experience.  The ALF Wilderness Experience is an opportunity for class members to remove themselves from everyday life and devote significant time for developing deep bonds with classmates and for personal introspection.  It is the week in the mountains that defines each class and creates the trust and understanding needed to work collaboratively back home.

ALF often becomes a passion and a lifelong commitment for Fellows.  Upon completing the year-long Fellows program, the graduates become Senior Fellows and join an active network of over 3,000 graduates nationwide, and continue to work together on regional problems. The deep relationships and networks of responsibility developed during the ALF experience will provide important benefits for the northern San Joaquin Valley.  As the network of bonded leaders grows, so too does its potential to bring about positive, constructive change.

The Cornerstones

ALF is dedicated to joining and strengthening leaders for the public good. Its program is based on the following “Cornerstones:”

  • Building trust and networks among diverse leaders
  • Motivating leaders to take responsibility and make a difference
  • Strengthening capacities for community change
  • Exploring the interconnectedness of communities, nations, and the world
  • Exploring and enriching personal values
  • Understanding and empowering self and others
  • Exploring, understanding, and valuing diversity
  • Inspiring leaders to a lifetime of active public engagement

October ALF fundraiser a huge success!

The Hillside Garden Party, an annual fundraiser for the ALF – Great Valley Chapter, was held on Saturday, October 4.  Over $80,000 in funds were raised to support scholarships and other program costs.  With nearly 300 guests in attendance, the evening provided a wonderful opportunity to highlight the impact ALF is making in the Valley, and the connections that are being made between diverse business, elected, and community leaders from the San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced region.

Raising scholarship funds is critical to the mission of ALF because it allows leaders of non-profits and smaller organizations who do not have the financials means to participate in the ALF Fellows program.  Scholarship funds raised last year are currently supporting several Fellows in Class V, which began this year-long transformational leadership development program in June.

We would like to thank our many sponsors who supported our event and our ALF program:

Generous event contributions included:

Uniting Sponsors:

      EJ Gallo Winery

Strengthening Sponsors:

          Strawberry Commission Logo      

POS Banner

Serving Sponsors:

A.V. Thomas Produce, Inc.
Tom & Jill Bower
Collins Electric Company
Lynn & Ron Dickerson
Downey Brand LLP
Eberhardt School of Business, University of the Pacific
Assemblymember Susan Eggman
Food 4 Less/Rancho San Miguel
Lou & Kenni Friedman
Gianelli & Associates
Kathy & Dave Halsey
Holt Ag Solutions
Martino Graphic Design, Inc.
John & Tami Mayol
Mark & Janet Nicholson
Pacific Gas & Electric
Prime Shine Express Car Wash
John Garamendi, Jr. – Professional Evaluation Group Inc.
Ross F. Carroll, Inc.
University of California, Merced
Ruben Villalobos

Supporting Sponsors:

ALF Mountain Valley Chapter
Donna Alley / Lisa Cooper
Debra Brady & Steve Veglia
Rebecca Ciszek/Monica Ojcius
Ben & RoseMary Duran
Mathew & Elizabeth Francis
Grassland Fund
Flip & Kathy Hassett
Nicholas Hatten
See Lee/ Leng Power
Imagen Public Relations – Virginia & Ramiro Madueno
Innovative Sales/Sierra Vista
Susan Mattos
Frances Mizuno / John Yarborough
Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital – Rob Santos
Visionary Home Builders of California

In-Kind Sponsors:

Brian Kellstrom, Personal Trainer (guitarist)
Dust Bowl Brewing Company
Green Thumb Landscape
DarkHorse, O.H.S