CLDI meeting in Crossett in 2010

The Southeast Arkansas Cornerstone Coalition is currently accepting applications for the 2013 class of the Cornerstone Leadership Development Institute’s (CLDI) Southern Leadership Academy, according to Zach Tucker, director of the Cornerston Coalition.

“Strong leadership is the key to success for our communities and region,” Tucker said in a news release. “The Cornerstone Leadership Development Institute has been extremely successful in building the skills individuals need to become more active and regionally connected as leaders and volunteers.”

Graduates of the CLDI have used the skills they learned during the program to enhance their communities throughout the Cornerstone Coalition region. This includes activities, such as, holding public office, receiving grants for their fire department to increase the safety of their citizens, establishing a library and museum to cultivate the cultural heritage of the city, and speaking out and taking the initiative to establish ambulance service in their city, Tucker said.

The Southern Leadership Academy is a skills-based program that broadens participants’ perspectives, examines regional and community issues, expands opportunities to develop friendships from all segments of the community, and strengthens leadership skills. Selected participants have a unique opportunity to work with area business leaders, professionals, state and federal elected officials, and other fellow leaders as they focus on key regional community and economic development issues while developing leadership skills. CLDI welcomes and encourages applications from men and women in all walks of life. Applicants must live or work in Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Desha, or Drew Counties. Graduates of CLDI include 150 of Southeast Arkansas’ mayors, attorneys, teachers, administrators, librarians, farmers, business owners, banking professionals, and former & current legislators, just to name a few.

The Southern Leadership Academy will be presented in monthly, day-long sessions conducted by highly qualified professionals in various fields. Each session attempts to address major issues in a unique and exciting format which will result in solutions and plans of action. A fee of $20 is due with each application. The cost of the seven-month long program is $200 for professionals; scholarships are available to applicants who qualify. Five participants will be selected from each of the five counties in the Cornerstone Coalition region, for a total of 25 participants. Sessions for the Class VI of 2013 begin June 18, 2013 and end December 17, 2013.

Participants in the Cornerstone Leadership Development Institute make a commitment of time, energy, and money. Nominees must have the full written approval of the organization/employer they represent. The intent of CLDI is that graduates of the program make a commitment to continue their involvement in their region and community. This involvement may consist of serving on boards, working with various agencies, or undertaking a community project that addresses some identified need.

Applications for CLDI’s Southern Leadership Academy will are available by contacting the Southeast Arkansas Cornerstone Coalition office at 870-460-1224, or their website at