Lakewood Leadership Academy

Lakewood Leadership Academy logoThe Lakewood Leadership Academy is designed to educate and develop effective community leaders to take an active role towards building a stronger Lakewood. 

It's an opportunity for recent college graduates and working professionals to learn about the City of Lakewood and improve their communications, team-building and management skills  to advance their careers and become leaders in the Lakewood community.

The application period has closed for the 2024 cohort.

The first session was held Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024.

If you have any questions, please email Frank Ontiveros or call 562-866-9771, ext. 2125.

The Academy is sponsored by the City of Lakewood, the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, F&M Bank, Lakewood Family YMCA and the Lakewood Jaycees.

Sponsor logos of Lakewood Leadership Academy

Goals of the program

  • Educate attendees about the depth and breadth of the city government and community-based organizations that serve the Lakewood community.
  • Teach attendees how to balance work and personal life demands, develop effective communication skills, build great teams and value the importance of diversity, inclusion and tolerance in their workplaces.
  • Encourage attendees to serve the community in leadership roles.
  • Expand and enhance networking and relationships.

Program format

Participants meet monthly for nine sessions from 5 to 9 p.m. Dinner will be provided.

Each session will cover a different topic and include a combination of lectures, panel discussions and hands-on activities relevant to that session's topic.

During each session, experts on the topics addressed are invited to share their insights and views.  

Learn more

Apply to the Lakewood Leadership Academy

The application period has closed for the 2024 cohort.

Program Schedule

2024 Schedule

All sessions are held on weekday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m.

Dates are subject to change with advance notice.

Dinner will be provided.

Jan. 31 Getting to know city government (Part 1)
Feb. 28 Getting to know city government (Part 2)
March 28    Achieving work/life balance
April 24  Developing leadership skills
May 29 Diversity, equity and inclusion
June 20 Effective communications strategies
July 24 Building a collaborative team
Aug. 28 Lakewood Center Mall -- Behind the Scenes Tour
Sept. 18    Summary, wrap-up and evaluation
Sept. 26 Presentation of graduation certificates at City Council meeting  


Updated 2/7/2024

Session descriptions

A total of nine evening sessions will be held from 5 to 9 p.m., once a month.

The format for each session includes a combination of lectures, panel discussions, and hands-on activities relevant to that session's topic. 

Experts on that evening's topic are invited to share their insights and views. 

Modules 1 & 2: Getting to know city government 

  • Orientation and overview of the sessions.
  • Introduction of attendees.
  • Functions of city government and how government at different levels work.
  • Importance of civic engagement in the democratic process.
  • Getting to know our city officials.
  • Activities and discussion.

Module 3: Achieving work/life balance (quality of life)

  • Address burnout & how it can affect work/life balance.
  • How to create an effective schedule that manages work & life.
  • How to establish boundaries between work and personal life.
  • Activities to do outside of work.
  • Activities and discussion.

Module 4: Developing leadership skills

  • Different types of leadership styles.
  • What leadership style best fits you, your business and employees?
  • How to manage leadership responsibilities (employees, stakeholders, clients, etc.).
  • How to create future leaders in the workplace.
  • How leaders can reward their employees for a better work environment.
  • How leaders can control overall culture within the organization.
  • Activities and discussion.

Module 5: Diversity, equity and inclusion

  • Define terms and give examples.
  • Address cultural competency.
  • Importance of diversity/equity/inclusion/cultural competency in leadership.
  • Community statistics and comparisons of organizations with/without diversity focus. 
  • Development of safe practices and policies for diversity/equity/inclusion in the workplace.
  • Activities and discussion.

Module 6: Effective Communication Strategies

  • Different types of communication styles.
  • Listening as a key factor in communication.
  • Communicating/listening with a specific audience (employees, stakeholders, clients, etc.).
  • Benefits of effective communication and listening.
  • How to respond to different situations through communicating/listening.
  • Activities and discussion.

Module 7: Effective Team Building

  • Team building is an ongoing process.
  • Leaders responsibility for creating teams, providing resources for success, and checking in and listening to needs.
  • Overall benefits of team building.
  • Activities and discussion.

Module 8: Lakewood Center Mall -- Behind the Scenes Tour

  • Take a field trip to the Lakewood Center Mall.
  • Meet mall official and take a behind-the-scenes tour.
  • Learn the inner workings of the mall and all that goes in to making it run.

Module 9: Summary 

  • Bringing together how all successful leaders use the tools and resources explored and discussed in the program. 


A nominal fee of $100 will be due upon acceptance to the program. 

Candidates accepted to the program will receive a confirming email with a link to pay the program fee online. 

Payment is due by end of day on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024.


Materials from Past Modules

Module 1 - Getting to know City Government Part 1

Video: Click here to see Module 1 video   

Materials: Module-1-Presentation-Final.pdf(PDF, 117MB)