tn_SWA_LEAD_SDSouthwest Airlines continues to be a leader in the airline industry and is proud to support key issues that affect our community including leadership development.  But the question becomes, “What creates San Diego’s leaders?”

Established in 1981, LEAD San Diego is the premier organization in the San Diego/Baja region dedicated to providing dynamic leadership development programs.

EMBARK, IMPACT and INFLUENCE are LEAD’s signature programs respectively targeted for the professional who is new to community service, the senior professional who has community service experience and C-level and senior executives who are new to San Diego or their position.

EMBARK focuses on establishing and presenting oneself as a leader in addition to creating memorable teambuilding experiences. IMPACT provides in-depth analysis of San Diego’s hot button issues ranging such as political landscape, arts, culture, tourism, the military and more. INFLUENCE instills a sense of civic and community responsibility to those in leadership positions in corporate environments.  EMBARK and INFLUENCE are conducted in the spring while IMPACT runs from September through June.  Each year the programs evolve to include the latest thought-provoking issues and leadership experiences.

As the programs continue to evolve, so does the organization as a whole.  In August 2010, LEAD welcomed Vicky Carlson as the president and CEO of the organization.

“Under Vicky Carlson’s management, LEAD will continue to educate and empower civic leaders who can understand and respond to ever-changing challenges facing the region,” said board chairman Ben Haddad.

This year’s IMPACT program is underway and is poised to make many positive contributions to the regional and local communities through its Leadership Action Team Initiative and their partner agencies: Community Catalysts of California, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, Home Start, MANA de San Diego, Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center and Travelers Aid Society of San Diego.

LEAD isn’t only about enhancing the greater San Diego area; it’s about honoring those who have made extraordinary contributions to our region.  Each year, graduates and supporters convene to celebrate the work of inspirational San Diego leaders who have fostered positive change in the San Diego and Northern Baja region at LEAD’s annual Visionary Awards. The ninth annual celebration will take place on Thursday, May 26, 2011 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

For more information about LEAD or to RSVP for the Visionary Awards please visit: