YLC Williamson County Class of 2015

Young Leaders Council (YLC), a Nashville-based nonprofit organization that has trained more than 2,500 men and women to effectively participate on the boards of nonprofit agencies for the past 31 years, is accepting applications for its 2016 Williamson County class. Partnering with Williamson, Inc. for the fourth consecutive year, YLC will provide training to young professionals between the ages of 25-40, who live or work in Williamson County and whose company is a member of the Williamson Chamber. Classes begin October 6, 2016 and will meet on Thursdays for 11 consecutive weeks through Dec. 15. Interested young professionals should apply online by Aug. 1 at www.youngleaderscouncil.org/applicants to be eligible for the 2016 class. The participation fee is $500.

Each session will meet from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Chamber’s office and will cover board member responsibilities, strategic planning, nonprofit financials, legal responsibilities, conflict resolution, fundraising and effective meetings, all of which are crucial skills needed for today’s nonprofit leadership roles. The graduates of the program will then serve a one-year internship on a local nonprofit board to put their newfound skills into action. 

In addition to the Williamson County class, more than 100 graduates enter the nonprofit community each year from three other Young Leaders Council classes, including two in Davidson County and one in partnership with Junior League of Nashville.

John Byers

We spoke with YLC alum John Byers about his experience to get a first-hand account of what future applicants can expect in the program. Byers was a part of the inaugural Williamson County class in spring of 2012 and currently serves on the YLC’s Board of Directors as the secretary. In his full-time role, he is the vice president and resident sales director for Aon Risk Solutions Tennessee.

Why should young professionals apply for Young Leaders Council?

With Nashville being the most philanthropic city in America, its critical as a young professional to learn how to be a great board member. Nashville thrives off of the non-profit community, and YLC is the entry point for young professionals to move into significant relationships and truly impact the community at-large.   


What was your experience like going through the YLC classes?

YLC was enlightening and engaging. The insight from the speakers and the quality of my fellow class members made it an incredible experience and it adequately prepared me for four boards for which I currently serve.


Where did you do your internship? How was this experience? What did you learn?

Just before I began YLC, I became a board member for Junior Achievement, so I allowed this to also serve as my internship for the program. However, it became quite obvious to me how well-equipped I had become through YLC and how valuable I was to the organization. Shortly after graduating from YLC, I joined the Board Development Committee.


Were there any concepts from the classes that helped you during your internship?

One of the most impactful sessions for me was Joyce Searcy’s (Belmont University’s Director of Community Relations) discussion on diversity. She “crossed the line” as she led a masterful and beautiful dialogue that challenged my way of thinking. Four years later, I still think of her discussion, and it influences decisions I make as a board member, a professional and a human.


How has being in YLC helped your career or personal life?

YLC trained me to be selective in my board and non-profit engagement. The best board opportunity lies at the intersection of passion, personal, and professional—and each board I serve on delivers in all three areas. Some of my most valuable networking and business relationships have come from my engagement in YLC and through the boards I’ve served on. YLC has and will continue to pay dividends in many areas of my life and in the life of my family and career.

For additional questions about applying for YLC, contact Diane Hayes, executive director, at diane@youngleaderscouncil.org or 615-386-0060.