CEO Connect executive leadership program for emerging business leaders one of inaugural downtown Spark programs

By |


CEO Connect_large

To nominate an individual for the CEO Connect program, click here.

Lipscomb University is launching a new executive leadership program for emerging business leaders called CEO Connect that will begin this August at its new Spark location in downtown Nashville and is seeking nominations for the program’s inaugural class.

CEO Connect was designed to connect Nashville’s top executives with emerging business leaders in a highly relational and powerful leadership learning experience. The program focuses on nine executive leadership competencies and includes interactive sessions in Lipscomb University’s newest Spark facility, located at 4th and Commerce in downtown Nashville.

CEO Connect is the newest leadership development program launched by Lipscomb University. In 2013, Lipscomb’s Nelson & Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership launched Leadership Tennessee, a program designed to cultivate a statewide network of business, nonprofit, education and government leaders who are committed to addressing the state’s challenges and opportunities.

“We know that the most powerful learning comes through relationships,” said Josh Hayden, director of executive programs at Lipscomb University. “We know that social and cultural capital are often the difference-makers for realizing one’s potential. CEO Connect offers the unique opportunity to rub shoulders with executive leaders who will offer their stories and experiential wisdom on various aspects of good leadership.”

Inaugural faculty includes CEOs Greg Sandfort, Tractor Supply Company; Janet Miller, Colliers International; Ronald Roberts, DVL Seigenthaler; and Barry Stowe, Prudential North American Business.

“CEO Connect is an exceptional program that Lipscomb is bringing to the business community in its new Spark downtown,” said Miller. “It is an outstanding opportunity for aspiring leaders to engage in dialogue with executives who can offer wisdom borne out of the victories, challenges and mistakes we've made along the way. This program is going to make a difference in Nashville."

To nominate an individual for the program, click here and complete the nomination form. Individuals who are nominated will be contacted with information about the program and an application. The inaugural CEO Connect class will be announced in July.

CEO Connect is a six-month program that begins in late August and runs through February. It is limited to 25 emerging leaders in business nominated by local executives. After nomination, participants apply and are admitted into the program by a selection committee. The program begins with a day-long retreat and is six months long. Program tuition is $4,500 per person and includes all materials, meals and any administrative fees throughout the program.

As Hayden described, “Imagine getting to know a diverse group of highly successful business leaders who offer their stories, insights, failures, and lessons and engage in meaningful conversation about the nature of leadership. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity and we will keep our cohort numbers low to maximize interaction.” Some of the goals of the program include participants to building a network of CEOs, gaining valuable experience engaging and communicating with high-level executives; synthesizing their understanding of the practice of leadership; reflecting on their own leadership challenges at work relative to competencies and skills of the program; and increasing self-awareness and intentionality of their careers through exposure to CEO career stories, values, and lessons learned.

Each session will be facilitated by Hayden along with special guests to ensure continuity of learning across sessions.

“Participants will be engaging in discussions with CEOs, case studies, participate in group problem-solving, and develop a personal synthesis of learning to present at the final dinner,” said Hayden. “Participants will also read an article related to the executive leadership model skills and competencies prior to each session.”

Want to know more about Lipscomb's Spark locations in Cool Springs and Downtown Nashville? Visit

For more information about CEO Connect email