American Leadership Forum

Great Valley Chapter

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

ALF fundraiser coming in October!

The Hillside Garden Party, an annual fundraiser for the ALF – Great Valley Chapter, will be held on Saturday, October 4. Funds raised will support scholarships and other program costs.  The evening provides the opportunity to highlight the impact ALF is making in the Valley and to connect diverse and experienced leaders in San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced Counties.

Scholarship funds are needed for leaders of non-profits and smaller organizations who do not have the means to participate in ALF without financial support.  Scholarship funds raised last year are currently supporting several participants in the ALF-Great Valley Chapter’s Class V, which began this year-long transformational leadership development program in June.

For more information on the Hillside Garden Party, please contact Kathy Halsey at or 209-522-5103 ext. 111.

The expected success of this year’s event is due to the cadre of strong sponsorship support from area businesses, senior fellows (ALF graduates) and current class V fellows.

Generous event contributions included:

Uniting Sponsorships:

            EJ Gallo Winery

Strengthening Sponsorships:


Serving Sponsorships:

Collins Electrical Company
Downey Brand LLP
Assemblymember Susan Eggman
Lou & Kenni Friedman
Gianelli & Associates
Kathy Halsey
Holt of California
Pacific Gas & Electric
Prime Shine Express Car Wash
Professional Evaluation Group Inc. -  John Garamendi Jr
Villalobos Legal Group
Visionary Home Builders of California

Supporting Sponsorships:

Debra Brady
Ben & RoseMary Duran
El Concilio
Flip Hassett
Dan Huber
J.S. West Milling Co.
Virginia & Ramiro Madueno
Marian Martino
Frances Mizuno and John Yarborough
Monica Ojcius and Rebecca Ciszek

Additional Donations:

Kaiser Permanente ALF Great Valley Senior Fellows

In-Kind Sponsorships:

Brian Kellstrom, Personal Trainer (guitarist)
Dust Bowl Brewing Company
Green Thumb Landscape
Parks Toilet Service
Twigs & Stems

The directors and the ALF and the Great Valley Center extend sincere appreciation to all the sponsors and attendees of this year’s Hillside Garden Party.  Your support helps to ensure that the ALF – Great Valley program remains strong.