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GFWC Leadership Education and Development Seminar (LEADS)

The GFWC Leadership, Education, and Development Seminar (LEADS) identifies GFWC members at the local level who have the potential and desire to assume leadership positions in their State Federations and/or GFWC on the national level. Participation in GFWC LEADS can help up-and-coming leaders gain the capabilities, confidence, and commitment necessary to pursue and achieve higher leadership roles or offices and serve with distinction. GFWC LEADS is held annually on the day prior to the official opening of the GFWC Annual Convention. The program may include the following: overview of public speaking, time management, vision casting, and conflict resolution; explanation of GFWC resources, materials, and assistance; outline of GFWC policies, parliamentary procedure, and protocol; and discussion of tips and techniques for pursuing personal growth and developing leadership opportunities. 

Application and Selection Process

One attendee from each State Federation and International Affiliate Club is eligible to participate in the annual GFWC LEADS program. GFWC demonstrates its commitment to training leaders by funding a portion of the expenses of candidates who are members of per capita dues paying clubs. State Federations may also offer to fund a portion of expenses. LEADS candidates are asked to be responsible for a portion of expenses as an affirmation of their personal commitment to their leadership development and training.

LEADS Candidate: Return the GFWC LEADS application form, along with two letters of support from active GFWC club members, to your State Federation by the state application deadline. If your state has a form, use that instead. The application for GFWC LEADS is available in the GFWC Club Manual. Contact your state leadership chairman for an application and deadline information.

State or International Affiliate Leadership Chairman or President: Your chosen LEADS Candidate’s application form and photo is due to GFWC Second Vice President Mary Beth Williams ( and GFWC Leadership Chairman Ann Landis ( by the deadline.

State and District LEADS Program

States and Districts are encouraged to hold a LEADS program to identify and develop strong potential leaders prepared to assume club, District, and State leadership positions. By implementing a well-designed LEADS event, the leadership experience gap will be addressed, and the talent and enthusiasm of a trained, confident group of volunteers will be more effectively used. The individual members, as well as our organization and communities, will benefit. State leadership can determine when the state or District LEADS program is best conducted. A new resource section has been added to the Leadership Toolkit for use in creating half- and full-day LEADS events using materials available in the toolkit.

Members of the 2024-2026 GFWC Leadership Committee are experienced and have diverse and comprehensive backgrounds. We are dedicated to GFWC and look forward to developing strong leaders through our partnership. The vision we cast as leaders while engaging our members will ensure an even greater impact by our GFWC clubs. Each GFWC Region has a representative on the Leadership Committee. Please reach out to these talented leaders for their assistance and guidance. 

Criteria for LEADS Participation

It is highly recommended that each State Federation or International Affiliate LEADS candidate meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates leadership capabilities at the club level as an active club president, club officer, or club project or committee chairman.
  • Exhibits a commitment to the Federation.
  • Exhibits an understanding of the GFWC mission of community service, illustrated by programs and projects in which she is or has been involved.
  • Demonstrates leadership characteristics, including, but not limited to, organization, responsibility, trustworthiness, enthusiasm, and flexibility.
  • Exhibits an interest in and willingness to pursue higher leadership positions in GFWC.
  • Agrees to share information gained from participation in LEADS with others in the State Federation.
  • Understands and accepts potential expenses involved in participation.
  • Has not held elected positions at or beyond the state level (this criterion is highly recommended, but not required, in order to encourage potential leaders at the club level to apply).
  • Has not attended a previous LEADS program. Members are eligible to attend only once.
  • Agrees to make every effort to attend the Fall GFWC Region Conference to report on their LEADS experience.
  • Must be a member of a per capita dues paying club, or a delegate of an International Affiliate as noted in the Expenses section below.


GFWC demonstrates its commitment to training leaders by funding a portion of the expenses of candidates who are members of per capita dues paying clubs. State Federations may consider underwriting a portion of an attendee’s expenses. LEADS candidates are asked to be responsible for a portion of their expenses as an affirmation of their personal commitment to the leadership development and training. LEADS participants are responsible for making their own travel and lodging arrangements.

State Federation Attendees:

  • Transportation and lodging stipend of $325.00.
  • Lunch during the LEADS program (no registration fee is required).

Checks will be distributed to candidates upon completion of the seminar.

International Affiliates:

One attendee from each International Affiliate is welcome to apply and participate in LEADS at a cost of $60.00, the GFWC stipend for travel and lodging allowance do not apply.

Incoming Leaders Training Seminar (ILTS)

Leaders and potential leaders receive training from GFWC at many levels of the Federation. A firm foundation of skills and knowledge enables competent and committed leaders to move GFWC purposefully into the future.

The Incoming Leaders Training Seminar (ILTS) is focused on introducing incoming Region Presidents, State Presidents, and State Directors of Junior Clubs to the resources available to them from GFWC. The seminar includes introductory information about GFWC programs, partners, and materials; Board of Directors calendar and responsibilities; departmental resources and areas of staff expertise; helpful information on subjects useful to planning and organizing an administration at the region and state level; and the opportunity to meet and interact with others assuming the same role in the next administration.

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