What is an Inter-City Leadership Conference?

In 1994 a new program was initiated by the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce called the “Inter-City Leadership Conference”. Each year, community and business leaders, elected officials and community activists visit a comparable city and examine its successes and challenges in hopes of applying its lessons to the Columbus region.

How are the cities selected?

By design, most of the cities chosen are much larger than Columbus so that Columbus leaders stretch our vision and aspirations to become a greater city of the 21st Century.

There were key items that were paramount in the selection of each city. The elements of economic development, downtown development, education and riverfront development are considered in every selection. Special emphasis is placed on these elements due to their relationship to the needs and objectives of the Columbus region.

Why do people attend? How many attend?

What could be better than to be a “change agent” for our community? By attending the conference, the Chamber will look to the participants to take part in implementing new programs and re-developing old programs in Columbus.

Another added positive result of the visits has been the establishment of rapport, the building of relationships and the networking opportunities that arise among the participants. Many of them comment every year about the lasting benefits of getting to know other city leaders on a personal basis through the trip.

Approximately 80 – 100 people attend the conference each year. The participants are community leaders, small business owners, presidents and ceo’s, government officials, and other community movers and shakers.

What are some of the results of these conferences?

Here are just a few examples:

  • The River Center for the Performing Arts
  • The Riverwalk
  • The Columbus Library
  • Skate Park
  • Environmental Court
  • IMAX Theatre at the National Infantry Museum
  • Natatorium
  • Small Business Incubator at the Cunningham Center
  • Performing Arts Magnet School
  • Smart Building Codes
  • Business One Stop Shop
  • Valley Partnership for Economic Development
  • Uptown Heritage Park
  • Young Professionals
  • Columbus 2025
  • Performing Arts Academy
  • City Re-Branding Initiative