Leadership Newton

Leadership Newton has launched our new Podcast program called Chamber Chats! The Chamber Chat podcast has been designed to give our very own, local leaders the spotlight to share about their leadership experiences and principles that they live by. Leadership Newton plans to release 3 Chamber Chats per year to share with our community via YouTube and various podcast apps (including Spotify, Anchor, and PocketCasts). We want to encourage our members, as well as other people in our community, to share this podcast with others so that they can hear inspirational messages from people who are right here in Newton! Check out our Anchor page above to listen to our Chamber Chats!

In August, several Chamber members completed a 3-month leadership book discussion group that centered on Brene Brown’s popular book Dare to Lead. These local leaders generously shared their passion for leadership and their personal experiences as we discussed different leadership principles and challenges each month.

In an effort to continue the conversation and to support one another in the hard, risky work of leadership, the group has chosen to read and discuss Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last. This fascinating book explores how leaders create cultures of trust and cooperation, and how the most effective leaders build environments in which teams naturally work together to achieve remarkable results.

If this sounds like a conversation worth having, please join us the 2nd Tuesdays of October, November, and December from noon until 1pm via Zoom.

To register, please contact Rachael Gibbons at rachael@newtonchamber.org <mailto:rachael@newtonchamber.org>.

Spring 2021 Leadership Class Details:

Wednesdays, February 24th – March 31st, 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Cost: $125 for Chamber Members, $175 for non-members

Register here: http://cca.newtonchamberks.org/EvtListing.aspx?dbid2=KSNew&evtid=73780&class=E


About the Leadership Class:

Once a year, the Leadership Newton Council hosts a 4-5 week leadership course for members of the community. This class is designed to introduce and dive into various principles of leadership that will help inspire and prepare students to take on new levels of leadership in our community.

Our 2020 Leadership Newton class was called Upfront Leadership, and was held every Wednesday starting February 26th through April 4th.

Using case studies, guided discussion, and participants’ own leadership experiences, engaged members made sense of real-world leadership challenges by discussing topics like:
  • Leadership in Action: Engaging and mobilizing others
  • Situational Leadership: Meeting the needs of your members
  • Technical and Adaptive Work: Whose work is it?
  • Team Conflict: Moderating the heat
  • Change Management: Who stands to lose what?
  • Decision Making Strategies: Frameworks for success
  • Unity of Leadership: Beyond “I said so.”
  • Mentorship: What’s in it for me?
  • Generationally Diverse Teams: Myth versus fact
  • High-Potential Members: The care and feeding of a rising stars
  • Culture Wars: Tribal leadership
  • Authenticity: The value of being vulnerable
  • …and much more.
The facilitator for Leadership Newton: Upfront Leadership was Scott Metzler. Retiring in 2019 as the Chief of the Newton Fire/EMS department, he is a dedicated student of leadership and a sought-after speaker on practical leadership strategies.

At various times of year, the Leadership Newton Council organizes a leadership luncheon. Members of the community are invited to attend, and participants have the opportunity to hear from guest speakers about their personal experiences and leadership styles. This is a great chance for citizens of Newton to gain exposure to new ideas and learn about leadership from real life, practical examples.


Some of our guest speakers from the past include Bill Snyder, Steve Dickie, Dr. Bardo, Scott Redler, and Jeff Fromm.


With the onset of COVID-19, 2020 leadership luncheons might look a little different this year. We will share more information as we get a better idea of what the following months will look like.

Our leadership program also works to direct our community toward greater opportunities for leadership development. The Kansas Leadership Center offers great programs that encourage education, personal growth, and inspiration surrounding leadership. Our Chamber leadership development council stays in contact with representatives from KLC to keep our community involved in the programs they offer.

“Leadership programs must see themselves as the leadership umbrella of the community, responsible for quality leadership in all aspects of the community. To do this they must be constantly looking for ways to partner with other parts of the community to prepare people for leadership participation.”


– Pat Heiny and Mary Jo Clark


Leadership Newton Council:

Chair – Scott Metzler

Secretary – Pam Stevens

Des Martins

Andy Ortiz

Shelley Black

Chief Steve Roberson

Everardo Flores


To function as a designated sub-committee of the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in developing and promoting a community leadership program.  The NACC Board has determined formal leadership development is a necessary tool to help strengthen the community.


Objectives and Responsibilities (including but not limited to):

  • Product Development – determine program purpose and create course offerings to meet community needs. Actively research options to evolve and adapt to changing environment.
  • Budget/Finance – develop an annual budget for the program, seek budget approval from the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, review financial reports not less than quarterly, report financial status to the Board of Directors as requested, provide support to Chamber staff in completing A/R and A/P functions as needed.
  • Curriculum – devise course offerings to meet program objectives
  • Marketing/Promotion – media coverage, newsletter articles, Twitter/Facebook/Blog, Chamber breakfast reports, class events/receptions, class member highlights at Annual Banquet, etc.
  • Participant recruitment – phone calls, personal visits, one-on-one meetings, development of recruiting materials, reporting prospects for future recruitment)
  • Session Oversight – room set up, introduction of lunch sponsors, general coordination of facility/refreshments/clean up (either direct or via designee)
  • Collaboration – Support other leadership development initiatives in the city and County, including Newton Young Professionals, for the mutual benefit of the Chamber and community at large.


  • Frequency of meetings will be determined by the Committee members and in order to fulfill the program objectives. An agenda will be prepared by the Committee Chair.
  • Report program activities to the Chamber Board of Directors as requested by the Executive Committee. A formal report to be submitted not less than annually.


  • Members of the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (at least three) – one shall serve as Chair of the Committee; one shall serve as Vice-Chair of the Committee
  • Executive Director of Newton Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Graduates of the Leadership Newton Program (at least two)