Leadership SouthCoast

Leadership SouthCoast (LSC) was founded in 2004 by a group of local business and civic leaders who recognized the significance of effective leadership to a community’s vibrancy. Originating at UMASS Dartmouth, they set out to develop a community leadership program that could cultivate a diverse network of regional leaders who are prepared and motivated to strengthen and improve the region.

In 2009, LSC moved under the fiscal sponsorship of the SouthCoast Community Foundation. As the program continued to grow, alumni became increasingly engaged in the community with many serving on its inaugural Advisory Committee. By 2019, LSC became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit taking its place as a highly valued community asset. The organization went on hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic.

During this time, One SouthCoast Chamber saw the importance of safeguarding the program and took the organization under the wing of its Foundation, ensuring its future viability. This gave the newly formed LSC Board of Directors time to wait out the pandemic with the intention of resurrecting the program. In 2021, they hired a new Executive Director who brought a fresh vision to Leadership SouthCoast. The annual flagship program was rebranded to LEAD SouthCoast to distinguish it from the organization name.

The LEAD SouthCoast program was relaunched in September 2022 with a cohort of 29 people representing 25 organizations. LSC as an organization is elevating to a platform of inclusive and innovative programs that support its mission and continue to build on its strengths of being a convener for the purpose of engaging, educating and empowering those who participate. LSC also launched a scholarship fund to make the LEAD SouthCoast program more accessible to participants who do not have access to a professional development budget, making the program more inclusive of small businesses and nonprofits. To support our inclusivity, please consider a donation to the scholarship fund.

Since 2004, LEAD SouthCoast has graduated eighteen cohorts totaling over 600 alumni. Nearly 100 area organizations representing the public, private, and non-profit sectors have sponsored employees to participate in the program.