Leadership DeSoto is a program coordinated by the DeSoto County Economic Development Council to inform future leaders of the needs and challenges facing DeSoto County and inspire them to utilize the resources available to them to make a difference. For over twenty-five years, Leadership DeSoto has helped leaders become involved in performing community service and improving the quality of life in DeSoto County.

Candidates are nominated by organizations, employers or individuals. Candidates may apply on their own.  Candidates are expected to complete a lengthy application.  A selection committee will review each application. Participants will be chosen based on the Candidate’s community involvement, leadership capabilities, and potential in their respective fields.

The selection committee will choose no more than thirty men and women.

The tuition fees range from $700 to $800, depending on the yearly structure of the program. Participants are expected to secure their own funding. However, employers, sponsors or other involved organization are often willing to assist with this expense.

Leadership DeSoto is a seven month program that gives participants insight into the resources of the community by offering sessions in Leadership, Economics, Education, Legislative, Healthcare, Local Government (city, state and county) and Community Service.

The first session in November is a two- day retreat that allows Participants an opportunity to meet and learn team-building skills. The remaining six one- day sessions cover topics from experts in diverse fields that allow the Participants to gain insight and a better understanding of the needs of the community.  The program is concluded with a Graduation ceremony in May.

Participants also engage in a group project to address issues and needs facing our Community. This opportunity allows Participants a hands-on experience in making a difference in our Community.


Tracy Gallager Gallager Insurance
Ken Ibsen Planter Bank
Bruce Roberts Trinity Babtist Church
Shea South Maples Learning Center


Alesia Hale Chairman, DeSoto Council

*Year Term Expires

Click on the image to download the PDF.

Click on the image to download the PDF.