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The Virgnia Women’s Municiple Leadership Institute (VWMLI)

Apply Today. Accepting Applications Until January 27!

About the Institute

This Institute provides women in local government with the connections and tools to further develop their skills, strengthening the pipeline for women to lead communities in Virginia and beyond. The Institute is designed to:

·       Teach tangible and transformational leadership skills to increase self-confidence, knowledge and ability

·       Provide connection and content to strengthen leadership skills

·       Create an everlasting support network among participants, past and present

·       Build the pipeline of women leading government in Virginia

Program Details 

Who: The Institute will be limited to twenty-five women aspiring to fill leadership positions in local government. Participants should be prepared to be actively engaged and attend every session to learn from one another and from content leaders.

What: The delivery format is hybrid including five two-day sessions and three (3) virtual half-day sessions. Tuition of $1,500 includes breakfast and lunch for all in-person sessions as well as hotel accommodations for Thursday, March 23 at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. All other accommodations and travel expenses are at the participant’s expense.

When: The Institute will launch Thursday, March 23, 2023 at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center and will continue for eight months. The Institute will conclude at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center on Friday, October 20, 2023. Institute schedule attached.

All sessions will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. (gathering starts at 8:30 a.m. – early is on-time and on-time is late) and end near Noon for Virtual Sessions and no later than 5 pm on In-person Thursdays and 2 pm on In-person Fridays; Small Group Lunches on In-Person Friday’s are a required component of the Institute.

Where: Participants will be asked to meet-up regionally at a common venue with fellow participants for the virtual half-day sessions. Locations for the May, July and September sessions are noted on the attached schedule.

Institute Curriculum

Every session will begin with “Connection before Content,” an opportunity to get to know one another on a more personal level and build everlasting relationships.  The following sessions are included in the curriculum: 

Session 1.0: March 23, Roanoke (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) Know Thyself (and One Another) & Art of Communications

Session 1.1: March 24, Roanoke (8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.) What it Means to Work in Local Government

Digest, Discuss, Debrief:  Small Group Lunch

Session 2.0: April 20, Virtual (half-day, morning) The Ethics Compass

Session 3.0: May 18, Newport News (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) Supervisory Skills 

Session 3.1: May 19, Newport News (8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.) Myers-Briggs Personality Type Assessment

Digest, Discuss, Debrief:  Small Group Lunch 

Session 4.0: June 15, Virtual (half-day, morning) Using Social Media: Truth & Consequences

Session 5.0: July 20, Charlottesville (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) What You Need to Know about Local Government Budget and Finance

Session 5.1: July 21, Charlottesville (8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.) Strategic Planning

Digest, Discuss, Debrief:  Small Group Lunch

Session 6.0: August 17, Virtual (half-day, morning) Council-Manager Relations

Session 7.0: September 21, Richmond (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) Trends in Human Resources & Difficult Conversations

Session 7.1: September 22, Richmond (8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.) Life as an Executive Woman in Local Government

Digest, Discuss, Debrief:  Small Group Lunch

Session 8: October 20, Roanoke (8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.) Cohort Debrief: Lessons Learned & Graduation

Application Process

E-mail a cover letter expressing why you are interested in participating in the Institute at this stage in your career as well as your current resume to Bonnie Svrcek, Institute Coordinator at no later than midnight Wednesday, January 25, 2023. Please email Bonnie with any questions you may have prior to application.

Scholarships are available for members of the Virginia Risk Sharing Association

(VRSA) through their Risk Management Grant Funds.  Contact Peter Stephenson at for details. 

 Participants will be notified of their acceptance in the Institute no later than February 9, 2023.  

Only two participants per locality will be accepted into each annual Institute. Virginia Tech will award approximately 6.0 Continuing Education units/60 contact hours to participants upon successful completion of the Institute requirements.

Our Amazing Sponsors (as of 1/12/2023)

Platinum ($5,000 +) – Sands Anderson; VA Risk Sharing Association           

Gold ($2,500-$4,999) – Berkley Group; VA Institute of Government

Bronze ($500-$1,499) – Bonnie Svrcek

In Partnership with Virginia Tech Roanoke Center and Virginia Women Leading Government