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Community Leadership Visit

For more than 28 years, a delegation of Springfield community leaders has traveled to a peer city, to learn from the experiences of another community and to bring back ideas that will benefit the Springfield region.

These visits have provided the opportunity to learn best practices from other cities in a wide range of areas, from downtown redevelopment and regional partnerships to education, workforce and diversity. In addition, these visits give the chance to interact with leaders in other parts of the country while also building and strengthening relationships in our own community.

There are many examples of the tangible benefits that have been brought to Springfield over the years by this program. This article looks at some of the most noteworthy.

You can also click on the links below to take a look back at each of our past visits.

"On the Community Leadership Visit, you don't just see the community. You understand why it does what it does, why it is what it is. We don't necessarily visit these places to copy what other cities have, but we learn their ways of thinking, organizing, getting things done. It's not so much the 'what' but the 'how.'"

- Tim Rosenbury
City of Springfield

"Springfield is one of those unique places where you can participate in community action and really see the impact. The Community Leadership Visit lets us get outside of our own bubble, to see what advantages and challenges there are in other communities. When we learn about them, we learn more about ourselves by experiencing what others are doing."

- Brad Erwin
Paragon Architecture

"BKD has chosen to participate in and sponsor the CLV each year for more than a decade.  I can’t think of a better investment we could make in the future of our community!  Each year, the investment of time and resources produces a great return through the amazing connections, civic engagement and community-shaping ideas this program brings to our region."

- Gary Schafer
BKD, LLP

"I’m grateful to see the direct impact this program has had on our local educational system over the years. It has fostered intentional opportunities to discover best practices in education and long-term infrastructure investment that have been implemented locally to maximize our schools. In addition, we’ve been able to create valuable connections with our local leaders as well as our peers across the country."

- Alina Lehnert
Springfield R-12 Board of Education

The Community Leadership Visit has traveled to 23 different cities since 1994
to learn best practices and bring some of those ideas back to our community.

Community Leadership Visit 2022

For our 27th Community Leadership Visit in 2021, we stayed home and "visited" our own community. What we learned strongly influenced the decision to visit Northwest Arkansas for the 2022 Community Leadership Visit.

While our community is excelling in many areas, we have many opportunities to expand on our regional collaboration, brand identity and natural assets, and more. Northwest Arkansas is excelling in these ways, including talent attraction and retention; a strong regional partnership embraced by the public and private sector and area residents; leveraging and developing their assets including arts and culture, biking and the outdoors, innovation and entrepreneurship and so much more. These many parallels between Northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri will provide valuable takeaways for our region.

More information will be published soon on best practices and takeaways from the 2022 trip to NWA!

Post-Trip Reports

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