Class Experience



Completed application and $50.00 processing fee payable to Leadership Buffalo, Inc. must be received no later than 5:00 pm, October 14, 2022:

Any questions about the 2023 Program can be directed to Althea Luehrsen. 

The Leadership Buffalo Class Experience is a year-long program that runs from January through December each year. The program consists of monthly full-day sessions and two overnight retreats. The program is designed for individuals from corporations, small /entrepreneurial businesses, civic and community organizations and non-profits who are currently serving in a leadership role.



2022 Day Session Schedule

January 6: Welcome Reception
January 14-15: Opening Retreat
February 9: Hunger and Poverty Day
March 9: Education Day
April 6: Criminal Justice Day
May 18: Arts, Culture, Tourism, History Day Session
June 8: Diversity and Inclusion Day
July 13: Neighborhood/Transportation Day
August 17: Combined Economic Development Day
September 14: Ecology and Environment Day
October 12: Healthcare  Day
November 18-19: Closing Retreat
December 8: Graduation


2023 Day Session Schedule

January 12 – Welcome Reception
January 20-21 – Opening Retreat 
February 8 – Day Session #1  
March 15 – Day Session #2 
March 28 – Optional Leadership Development Session #1
April 12 – Day Session #3
May 17 – Day Session #4 (COMBINED)
June 14 – Day Session #5 
July 12 – Day Session #6  
August 16 – Day Session #7 (COMBINED)
September 13 – Day Session #8
September 26 – Optional Leadership Development Session #2 
October 18 – Day Session #9 
November 17-18 – Closing Retreat
December 6 - Graduation

Exploring What Matters

Key issues and topics are explored throughout the program year providing an in-depth view of the critical issues facing our community. These are experienced by sharing hands-on experiences and networking with other leaders in the Buffalo Niagara community.

Such topics include Hunger and Poverty, Education, Criminal and Social Justice, Diversity, Arts and Culture, Neighborhood Discovery, Transportation, Economic Development, Ecology and Environment, and Health Care.

Tools to Make Change

Each participant will have the opportunity to create action by utilizing newly found knowledge.

Team projects are developed at the conclusion of the program year. Projects are sustainable providing continued support of the community and engagement with classmates.

Being a Better Leader

The program environment is a non-traditional form of learning. The city is our "classroom".

Throughout the year, personality assessments are conducted and participants work in teams to challenge and strengthen their leadership skills. The year focuses on Servant Leadership traits and relies on experiential learning.

2023 Applications

Applications must be received by 5:00 pm on October 14, 2022 accompanied by a non-refundable $50 application fee. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applicants will be notified of their status no later than November 21, 2022.


Tuition for the Class Experience program is $5,500. Tuition is non-refundable. Upon acceptance, a $1,000 non-refundable payment toward tuition is required no later than December 17, 2022. Unless special arrangements have been made with the CEO, remainder of tuition must be received in full prior to the opening retreat.


A limited number of partial tuition scholarships are available and are determined by need. Candidates wishing to apply for tuition assistance must complete the Application for Financial Assistance form, available here. Form must accompany application by October 14, 2022 to be considered.

Please Note

Applications do not guarantee acceptance. In addition, telephone or in-person interviews will be conducted with all applicants.