CCHA Recognizes HCLA Graduates of Today and Years Past

POST DATE: 6.17.22
Ccha  General

CCHA would like to congratulate the Hamilton County Leadership Academy (HCLA) Class of 2022, including our own Jessica Schnelker. Just a week ago, HCLA added 32 graduates to their impressive alumni network.

Hamilton County Leadership Academy is a leadership development program that identifies and prepares informed leaders for our community. Participants are brought together by their commitment of time, energy, expertise and their desire to be involved in Hamilton County. Their mission is to educate and inspire leadership to create a positive impact in our community.

HCLA got its start within the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce. In 1989, Ruth Anne Nunamaker was hired as the executive director of the Noblesville Chamber, and started visiting with local community leaders in order to define the goals and mission of the Chamber. One of those leaders was prominent CCHA attorney, Doug Church, who suggested the idea of a leadership program.

“The Hamilton County Leadership Academy has proven its value many times over as can be seen from the number of elected officials, CEO’s and community leaders who have graduated from the program,” says Doug Church. “It has served as the primary means of creating connections for leaders throughout the entire county. The motto, ‘Learn, Connect, Lead’ is a true evocation of the way in which HCLA serves our communities.”

The goal of HCLA is and always has been to develop a pool of knowledgeable community members who could apply their skills to government, business and civic activities and positively share the future of Hamilton County.

HCLA Jessica Williams Schnelker

The program boasts more than 700 graduates of the program, most of whom can be found throughout our communities, holding elected office, serving in appointed positions, and serving on local boards. They are all leaders working hard to create and sustain a thriving community for all of us to live, work and play in.

“HCLA is an invaluable tool used to bring together leaders from all across the county, teaching them about a variety of aspects of life in Hamilton County and connecting them with opportunities to serve the needs of the community,” says CCHA partner and HCLA graduate, Greg Schrage, who is also on the board. “The friendships you make and the connections to other industries allows you to better assist those in the community who need assistance.”

HCLA selects a cohort of leaders each year to complete a comprehensive, 10-month curriculum exploring local issues. After completing the program, graduates are prepared to assume active roles in addressing critical issues facing Hamilton County.

Below is a list of current CCHA attorneys who have completed the HCLA program:

Bruce Bittner (1992)
Leslie Craig Henderzahs (1995)
Matt Skelton (1998)
Julia Kozicki (2003)
Eric Douthit (2005)
Sarah Randall (2010)
Alex Pinegar (2011)
Jenni Hughes (2013)
Amy Matthews (2014)
Jessica Heiser (2016)
Greg Schrage (2017)
Jessica Billingsley (2018)
Leslie Gieger (2019)
Rachel Woloshin (2020)
Victoria Howard (2021)
Jessica Williams Schnelker (2022)

HCLA graduates are knowledgeable, active leaders within the various community organizations in Hamilton County, serving civic groups, not-for-profits, government agencies and elected office, and CCHA is proud to have so many graduates representing the firm.

To learn more about HCLA, we encourage you to visit their website. Should you have the means and desire, we also encourage you to donate, so that they continue to build and empower tomorrow’s community leaders.

Jessica HCLA

“From leaders of nonprofit organizations to entrepreneurs to medical professionals, my (2022) class had it all,” said CCHA partner and newest HCLA graduate, Jessica Williams Schnelker. “As a lawyer myself, it was wonderful to be surrounded by so many talented people doing so many wonderful things in my community. I could not have asked for a better way to diversify and enhance my network.”

CCHA applauds our most-recent HCLA graduate, Jessica Williams Schnelker, for completion of the program. We also recognize all other CCHA attorneys who are HCLA graduates, and extend our sincere thanks to HCLA, for helping make the world and our communities even better.